Yesterday I mowed the lawn. Not earth shaking, I realize. But when you haven't mowed the lawn for a month due to the fact that the mower has to be jumped every single time you want it to start, and given that I am terrified of jumping it myself because I am certain it is going to explode in my face though I have plenty of evidence to the contrary, well, it hasn't gotten done.
So into the midst of this backyard meadow I rolled, and soon I spied a frog jumping out from under the mower. I do not want to run the lawnmower over a frog. Besides the obvious gross factor of frog parts squishing out the side (no jokes about frog legs for dinner please), I am basically a kind person. I cried for over an hour when I accidentally ran over a rabbit four years ago. My husband assumed I was having a psychotic episode born of the fear that I was going to leave my kids and die just like the rabbit. (It was a couple weeks before my transplant surgery.) “No,” I sobbed, “I killed a bunny! Isn't that enough reason to be so upset?” Apparently not. Bambi must not have been a big influence in his childhood. But then, he grew up in a state where antlers are haut décor. What did I expect?
Every time I passed that particular spot, the frog hopped just far enough out of the way and further into the tall grass. For nothing would he hop into the grass that was already mown. To him, that was the dangerous territory. The tall grass where he could hide was the safe zone. Except in reality, it could not have been more the opposite. Real danger lay where the mower had not yet passed.
So, how do I act like a frog? Hopping toward danger that looks safe when hopping the other way, into what looks scary to my mind, is the better path? What comes to mind first is my instinct to flee confrontation any way possible. It's safe, right? No one will get mad at you; no one disagrees. Telling the truth about what I need or want or feel is scary. I have no idea if I'll get run over by a ticked off lawnmower. But through lots of experience avoiding it, I now know avoiding the truth comes at a far higher price.
Sometimes I feel like God is looking on me saying, “No, you idiot! Don't jump into that! Jump toward the scary stuff. That's really where I'll keep you safe.”
Are you a frog? I'd love to know how, and to know I'm not the only one.