I like to think that I saved the common toad from extinction – well, at least one family line. When I was about 10 years old, a big rain storm left big puddles all over the barnyard. I noticed that one puddle was alive with all sorts of little tadpoles. When the puddles began to dry up in the sun, I couldn’t let my babies dry up, too. Every day after school, I would carry pails of water to that puddle, and loved watching the little creatures swim around in a bigger and bigger pondlet. I would scoop them up in my cupped hands, and feel them tickling my palms as they swam around. They were all heads and tails, big eyes and no mouth, and well – cute. Then, one day I noticed that little legs started to stick out and their swimming became more energetic. Their little heads started to change shape, and suddenly they had little mouths. I kept carrying water to that puddle until every tiny tadpole had turned into a little toad and bounced its way into an adventurous life. I didn’t tell my parents about my “children.” When I was in college, I remember telling my mother about them. She said my dad had asked her if she knew why all the puddles were drying up, but that one just seemed to get bigger and bigger. She had seen me trudge across the yard with pails of water and looked at the puddle while I was at school, discovering it teeming with life.
Remembering those little toads always makes me smile. And, of course, I have to figure out some way to connect them to real life, right?
FIRST, Momma and Daddy Toads are absent parents. They do their thing and Momma lays hundreds of eggs and hops off to find another Daddy and repeat the process.
SECOND, little toadlets have to figure out how to do life all by themselves.
THIRD, No one teaches them how to face the challenges of life.
Makes you glad you’re not a toad, doesn’t it?
FIRST, for most of us, parents were not totally absent. We can all think of things we wish our parents had done better. But I have come to realize a very important thing. Parents do the very best they know how to do – the very best they can – given their own growing-up baggage. For the most part, they take good care of their kids.
SECOND, everyone wants to help cute little kids do things. Like walk. I’m told that when I was first toddling around, I would take hold of a piece of paper, and walk confidently across the room. Take that piece of paper away, and I would fall. Somewhere along the line, I got the walking thing down. I loved school most of the time. I went to a little country school for grades 1-8, and had the same teacher for 7 years. I didn’t know I was 2 years behind in math and science until Mrs. Lawson came for grade 8. I didn’t like it at the time, but came to appreciate her firm insistence which helped me in high school and gave good lessons for tackling college – and life.
THIRD, challenges of life. The biggest challenge I have faced is being a singleton in a world which emphasizes coupledom – even in the animal and plant world. Nothing multiplies without an opposite-other. Of course, we don’t see warm hugs flower to flower or tree to tree. But, without cross pollination, they would not survive. Some animals mate for life while others don’t give a darn except for a few moments of intense physical activity. But, the two-by-two thing is always before us. Most people find their opposite-other fairly early in life. However, for those who do not, the road gets increasingly rocky and full of forks in the way.
As a Christian single, I’m puzzled as to why there is not a well-used method of training us how to DO “single.”
It seems that the longer a person is single, the fewer the instructions on how to go about it well. Well-worn phrases such as “sex is only meant to be exercised in marriage,” and “just don’t,” while true, have not been well thought-out by churches as to meanings which make sense to a waiting person. It certainly doesn’t help that the easy access to all sorts of sexual materials and opportunities grow daily. But, is this a new thing?
I ran across a verse recently in Ezekiel which shows that not only is it NOT a new thing, but that our society’s fixation on excess sexual acts is not a surprise to God! Ezekiel 8:12 says . . . “have you seen what the elders [leaders] of the house of Israel [or any of us for that matter. . .] are doing in the dark, each in his room of pictures? For they say, ‘the Lord does not see us. . .'” (English Standard Version) [Italics mine.]
Some translations use words like “images,” or “idols,” or “at the shrine of his idol.” Could this be a computer? Hmmmm.
Well, this fun post is just a short step to a sequel to “One shade of black.” Stay tuned. 🙂