Sunday, June 04, 2006

who says frogs don't have tales?

Anyone who cares at all about The Church, regardless of which side of any discussion they find themselves, has to be watching the slowly shifting trends at least as carefully as the suddenly new fads. It always interests me that those who go ballistic over the sudden new stuff never realize that quite often, the new thing is a response to the slowly drifting course that has trapped them, or it may simply be a direct return to an older thing from which we've drifted.
It is not unusual for the sudden change to be an intentional correction to the steady drift. Sadly though, it is often a younger set of people who have not been drifting as long that notice the faulty heading. Youngins are always suspect so even when they return to where we all should be, they scare us to death. But out of the mouths of babes...
The problem with understanding traditions is that we don't always realize that having always done something does not guarantee that we've always done it for the same reasons or in the same way. When questioned by our children as to the meaning behind much of what we do, we find ourselves at a loss, and our superficiality is exposed. Sometimes we even find that our faith is based on tradition and we falter if things get changed. Surely we would desire that our children's traditions be based on faith, and perhaps thinking that ours are too drives us to try to pass on our ways to them.
Quite a while ago, I posted a response to some statistics that showed that children of evangelicals were not staying in their parents' churches when they grow up. The study asked if parents were passing on their convictions. I answered with the old "frog in the boiling water story." Perhaps children are less likely to put up with the gradually increased heat.
Ok, I didn't really mean to say all that. It was just a serious set up for the report on an inadvertent experiment I witnessed tonight. As I was getting supper ready, I uncovered and lit the grill in preparation for some Tilapia filets. When I returned to begin cooking, I noticed a tree frog sitting on the grill shelf less than a centimeter from the lid. I waited awhile thinking that the frog would surely jump to a cooler resting place, but he stayed where he was. I quickly tapped the side of the lid that was nearly touching him, and it was VERY hot. Perhaps he thought roasting would be less traumatic that being discovered. Finally I had to manually remove him and place him in safety. Now, a few hours later, he's still there on the deck, singing his little frog heart out. Praises of salvation? I don't know, but he's here tonight, not because of anything he did, but what was done for him.

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