Riddle: How is a frog’s instinct to hide in the tall grass similar to the natural instincts of humans?
When I mow the grass in my yard, it is not uncommon for a frog to suddenly startle from the grass right in front of my lawnmower, and to leap frantically away. The instinct to run from the deadly machine is a good one.
But the direction of that flight is often wrong. The frog’s natural instinct is to hide from its predators in the long grass, where its shiny green sides make it nearly invisible. The problem? The purpose of the lawnmower is to cut the long grass.
The Wise Frog
Out of the dozens of frogs who have fled my lawnmower, I recall only one who abandoned his instinct and leapt into the shorter grass. He sat, exposed, easily visible amongst the clippings of shorn grass.
I actually burst into a flurry of cheers for that one sensible frog. “Yay, froggie! You amphibious genius, you!”
For every frog like him, there have been many more for which I have had to stop the lawnmower, lift the terrified frog, and remove him to safety. There have been others whom I have not seen until too late.
Humans are like frogs.
You see, just as frogs seek refuge in the long grass, so we humans seek to hide our true selves in a variety of ways. We convince ourselves that we are “good people” (What is good? By whose standard?), that we can do it on our own, that we are in control of our lives, that we don’t need help. When the lawnmower of God’s judgment passes by, we hide in the tall grass, little knowing that the judgment will inevitably roar right over the ground on which we stand. We hide ourselves from God, and we reap the consequences.
But if we were like that one wise frog, we would abandon everything we think we need in order to survive.
“Good person”? Who is ever truly good enough?
In control? Control is an illusion.
Don’t need help? Do we really outgrow our dependence on others?
If we were honest, we would see that we are weak, sinful, inadequate, incapable. We would see that all our attempts to save ourselves from our sin, our troubles, our problems, are all worthless. We would abandon all hope and throw ourselves into the very thing that seems most self-destructive.
Exposed, our sins and inadequacies opened before our eyes.
Visible, to the Being who is so far above us, who holds the power of life and death.
None of my life has gone the way it was "supposed to go," but I don't love my life any less because of the hardships and new directions. I see so much unexpected good in it, and I want others to see the good in theirs.