Thursday, May 21, 2009

Frogs?

In case one didn't notice from the title of my blog - I have a bit of a thing about frogs. I like them, a lot. I hesitate to say they are my favorite animal, because I have a lot of favorites (otters, bears, giraffes, squirrels ...).

So I've often had people ask me - why frogs? The first thing - they are so darn cute, especially those brightly colored frogs in the rain forests of the world. But even the ugly ones are cute, in a bug-eyed, so-ugly-its-cute sort of way.

They are great swimmers - and I've always loved swimming. My favorite stroke, the breast-stroke, is similar to how a frog swims. It's almost relaxing. That something that is so slow and kinda clumsy on land can be so graceful in the water is beautiful to me. We all have our hidden talents!

Their song is part of what makes summer feel so much like summer. Before they moved, my parents had a pond in their backyard that drew frogs from the woods. Hundreds of them would be singing in the trees - it was deafening ... and I loved it. Sure, it makes camping a little tiring - but its camping! Its not supposed to feel like a 5 star hotel.

Frogs eat bugs - and generally bugs aren't something I'm particularly fond of (butterflies being an exception). Speaking of butterflies - they share something with the frogs which happens to be one of my favorite things about them.

Tadpoles. Almost every summer I brought one (or a few) home ... but I don't think I ever succeeded in having one grow into a frog. Too many accidents like leaving them in the sun on the windowsill ... that one was given a proper burial between two leaves from the neighbor's sycamore at the base of the ramp to my playhouse ... but being a future forensic scientist - I dug it up the next day to see what it looked like.

Back to the point. Frogs start out as tadpoles - legless little critters with gills instead of lungs which transform into something quite different over time. Much like butterflies, starting as a gooey little crawling caterpillar and transforming into a beautiful fluttering splash of color in the summer sky.

One of the places I personally feel closest to God is in nature. And through these two creatures ... I feel that He is giving me a beautiful illustration of the new creation He can make of me. No matter how much I've messed up - God can make something beautiful of my life. I see that every day - in that no matter how "world wise" I had become - every day I feel a little more wholesome. Perhaps a little naive, but I'll take that over the bitter alternative. There are some things I'd rather remain ignorant about.

And honestly - in their clumsiness ... and warts ... frogs are imperfect. God accepts me warts and all - and asks me to extend His grace and love to others with 'warts' like myself.

As for the "if a frog had wings it wouldn't bump its butt when it hopped ..." Well, in high school art class we were supposed to make something out of paper mache. I started out making a cat, but after deciding that was too boring ... decided to make a frog. But the tail was already on the cat ... so I left it and decided if I was going to mix things up - why not add some butterfly wings? It is still in a closet at my parents' house. "Butterfritty" became my own personal mascot (and lets be honest - still is).

So why frogs? Just because :)

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