Frog Breathing

imagesI was in a supreme hurry to get dinner on the grill during a very tight window of time after homework and before soccer practice. I flew out the back door and whisked the cover off the grill only to be startled out of my skin by a tiny green frog cowering on the control panel between the flame-adjuster knobs.

I hate to admit this, but I screamed. And not a cool, high-pitched, girly movie scream, more like a kind of gutteral manly groan–like the one you make after coming around a bend in the road to find fresh roadkill with blood and entrails and crows picking at it, or the noise you made just now.

No one heard me. I could have poked the frog with a stick and sent it hopping. But the shock had halted my mad dinner rush and forced me to stop and breathe. The surge of adrenaline bathed my brain and birthed a great idea.

I called my kids from the creek below, “Hey guys! Come see! There’s a FROG!” There was a blur of boots as my kids scrambled pell-mell up the hill trying to be the first to lay eyes on the creature, “I wanna see! I wanna see!”

After staring at the huddled creature, we got a box and a stick. Then I gently prodded the poor thing to leap from the grill and caught him in the box, which caused much hilarity and screaming amongst the littles.

The three amigos trilled in excitement as they transported the frog-box to the creek, then quieted as they settled it on the ground and peered over the top.

After plopping the teriyaki chicken breasts onto the sizzling grill top, I stopped to take in the picture of my children huddled over that box, waiting, watching, anticipating.

The displaced frog was sitting in the corner of the cardboard prison as if it were frozen, or a fake plastic toy. After a minute of staring down the tiny green creature, Ellison shrieked, “Mom! Mom! It’s BREATHING!”

They knew the frog was alive from its initial leap into the box, but because it was sitting mannequin still, they weren’t sure it was still alive, and began to doubt. It took them a while and a good look to make sure it wasn’t dead.

I don’t want people to wonder if I’m spiritually dead. I shouldn’t have to make a big leap every now and then to show that I’ve got God inside of me. I want people to see me constantly moving so fast they just assume that I’m alive and breathing because of all that that is being done to further God’s kingdom. Not peering over the edge of the box, waiting to see a breath, poking me with a stick and wondering if I’m still alive.

In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.
Job 12:10  (NIV)


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