Friday, October 31, 2014

To learn from the Frogs

A couple of weeks ago, we were able to play Good Samaritans to a large frog which got stranded in the middle of the road near our house. Living so close to wetlands, we get visitors like him. Apparently he'd been hopping, but dried out on the warm bitumen. Not wanting to see him run over and squished, we poured water over him until he took a great hop into a plastic container, and then we tipped him out in some long grass. It feels good to save the occasional life.

We hear frogs singing all the time in the wetlands, especially at night, which must be a sign of a healthy ecosystem. I've heard it said that frog life is a good indicator of how healthy an environment is. The have such ancient origins, if they start dying en masse, something must be wrong. It's remarkable to think that they do have such a long history, when they are delicate enough to run out of juice in the middle of our road. Perhaps God has simply been looking after them. Their acronym FROG, supports this. You might have read that it stands for Fully Rely On God.

A couple of weeks ago, while it was still early spring, I was hiking with my husband and younger son. We chose a dry track which had some sort of four wheel drive vehicle along it recently, because the tyre ruts it left were full of rain water. It seems some frogs had decided to lay their eggs in these shallow ruts, because there were tadpoles swimming merrily around in them, oblivious to the fact that their home was soon to evaporate. We figured that if those little swimmers don't grow quickly, they'll be left high and dry to sizzle. Will they make it? That's anyone's guess, as we won't be around to find out.

My younger kids sometimes get anxious about reports they hear from the media about global threats to our planet. Climate change, global warming, war, disasters, the list goes on. What's more, we read that earth is on a very specific path in space. If it were to deviate off course by just a few degrees, our globe would be uninhabitable. I remind them that in some things, all we can do is FROG, like the hoppers we rescue from around our house, and like the little babies in the shallow puddles who don't know if they'll live to grow up, but don't realise there's a threat.

I was reminded of a novel I read years ago, by Brock and Bodie Thoene, set in the Second World War. David, one of the soldier heroes, was on a ship in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean heading for action. He was always terrified at night, fearing threats from sudden enemy ships, and he didn't even know what cargo their own ship was carrying. He made a few enquiries and found out that it was live ammunition. That might have sent some people into more of a panic, but David decided to take off his uniform, get into his pyjamas and have a comfortable sleep, as he should have been doing all along. He saw that his only real option was to FROG. Basically, it's the same for all of us.

No matter how hard we try to control things, we're all equally helpless when it comes to some things. It makes sense to rely on the creator who was holding all things together before we were even born. We may have the potential to dry out easily, but there is someone who cares. Did you know that it's impossible for frogs and toads to jump backwards? I love the sudden, enthusiastic forward leaps they make, covering several of their own body lengths. Maybe God planned them that way as part of the analogy, to remind us that there's no point getting so anxious, hedging and retreating, that we never do anything.

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