Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Fear of a Frog

Recently I was house-sitting for a day and one of my tasks was to water the hanging baskets.  I pulled out the hose and watered one of the baskets and turned around to water the other.  It was then that I noticed the big, brown frog perched precariously on the side of rock covered column.  At first, I couldn't tell whether or not it was real.  I watched it closely to see if it blinked or was breathing heavily.  After observing it for about a minute without either of these signs appearing, I then assumed that it was possibly a well-made plastic frog that somebody left there as a practical joke.  I started to water the basket above it keeping a careful eye on it to see if it moved.  It didn't move as the first few drops of water landed on it, but then it shifted its leg slightly.  I stopped watering immediately and slowly stepped away from the frog.  What did I do next?  I called home.  My father informed me that frogs in the area were perfectly harmless and that it was probably more afraid of me than I was of it.  I failed to find this encouragement comforting though.  I quickly finished watering the basket with my body as far away from the frog as possible and then went on to fulfill my other tasks.
How often does fear keep us from fulfilling a task that needs to be done?
How often is this paralyzing fear ungrounded?
Why do we choose to focus more on the subject of our fear rather than the task that needs to be done?
I know for myself, I was tempted to skip watering that particular hanging basket, but being a hot day, I knew that the plant would wither if I didn't give it water.  What should have only taken me 5 minutes took me closer to 15 minutes because of my ungrounded fear of the frog.  Fortunately, this incident was quite trivial, but the thought remains: when it really matters, will I be able to focus on the task or will I allow my ungrounded and temporary fears keep me from doing the right thing?

"So we can confidently say, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?" -Hebrews 13:6 (ESV)

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