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Late Night Frog Lessons

September 6, 2014

I go to Eucharistic Adoration every Saturday morning from 1 – 2 AM.  I do not do this because I am holy.  I do this because I am most definitely NOT holy.  Holiness or the lack thereof has absolutely nothing to do with this post.  I’m merely explaining the setting for my story.

For the last several weeks I have encountered nature on the way to my car after adoration.  I’m just going to put this out there:  Nature?  I am not a fan.  On two occasions a tiny snake slithered across the sidewalk in front of me.  Several times I have encountered a tiny frog frantically hopping across the sidewalk.  Tiny frog chased by tiny snake?  Quite possible.  I don’t know, maybe it was a toad.  Whatever it is, it is always super fast and ALWAYS scares the snot out of me.

Last week I quite loudly asked it “What the heck? What are you doing?  It’s 2 o’clock in the morning!”

I thought about it on my suddenly brisk hobble up a very long hill to my car and decided that the little guy was just being completely obedient to God. That frog is just “doing him” and nothing more.  He didn’t set an alarm for 1:58 so he could jump out and scare that one lady on her way to her car and give her a mini heart attack.  He probably didn’t even notice me.  He was just being a frog, in fact the very best frog he could be.  Animals have it easier than we do because animals have no free will. (Although my poodle, whom my kids call the worst dog ever, sometimes makes me wonder.  Alas, that is another post for another time.)  Animals do exactly what God created them to do. They obey Him perfectly.

This week as I was walking from my car to the chapel I was completely lost in thought.  I had a super crap week, which culminated in a super-duper crap Friday and I was intent on spending my whole hour complaining about it. I was making my list of things to cry over and planning how I would unload all of it as soon as the adorers before me closed the door.

I did not see the frog.

That is, I did not see the frog until I opened the door and he leapt, arms flailing, into the adoration chapel  like they were giving free flies to the first 50 customers.

It gets better and by adoration frog“better” I mean more embarrassing. The husband and wife who adore immediately before my shift were sitting on a pew, quietly praying when I shrieked “OH! FROG!”

In unison they turned to me and said “What?”

“Frog!”

It jumped into their view and the man was up and after it instantly. It crossed that chapel and disappeared in under two seconds.  The man was crawling around under a pew, I handed him my phone to use as a flashlight to no avail.  The man looked under everything but no frog.  The couple chuckled then left.

My perfect plan to moan, wail and gnash my teeth was ruined.  I looked at Jesus and said “OK, this week?  This week broke my heart but you already know that, don’t you?  You were there.  I don’t have to tell you.  You know.  You know how confused and sad and worried I am about all of my loved ones and what seems like really, really unfair suffering. You know about my anxious, sleepless nights because I talk to you during them. I didn’t want to even come here tonight, except to tell you off but now I have a frog to worry about, too, so I’m not going to unload.

<Audible Sigh>  Sometimes it feels like I have to do everything around here.

Yes, that little frog had interrupted my regularly scheduled broadcast.

I was back to my frog spirituality thoughts from last week:  free will, obedience and fallen human nature.  After a few minutes the frog came barreling, out of nowhere, right at me, moving so fast that it looked as though he was waving his arms, about to hug me, shouting “Amy! Yay! There you are!  I thought you were lost!”

I just knew I had to take care of him.  Armed with a kleenex and last week’s church bulletin, I tried to gently persuade him to go outside. I chased him for another 10 minutes until he disappeared again.

UGH! FROG! WHY WON’T YOU LET ME HELP YOU?  WHY MUST I BEG??  YOU SHOULD JUST DO WHAT I THINK YOU SHOULD DO THEN YOU WILL BE SAFE AND HAPPY AGAIN.  THIS IS FOR YOUR OWN GOOD.

Light bulb over my head much?

Here is what I learned from spending one hour with the Blessed Sacrament.  And, um, a frog.

Just because I think I know what to do does not mean the frog has the same plan.  He has to be who he is and I have to accept that.  I can’t make him jump out the door, even though I believe that is what will be best.  I could have kept chasing and forced him outside but then I’m not doing what I was put in that chapel to do, which is to pray for all my loved ones for an hour.  If I spent my time making him do things my way then not only is he not “doing him” but I am also not “doing me.”  I must pray. My loved ones need prayer.

Accepting that the frog is a frog and just letting him be him most likely means that he will die a premature death.  I have to accept that, too.  What better place for him to die?  I know that if I was going to die I would want to be near Jesus.  We should all want to be close to God when our time comes.  I think it is safe to say that most frogs do not get to die in the physical presence of Christ.

Accepting is a really hard thing to master.  I’m not there.  If I can get there, to that accepting place, I think I will be happier and much less anxious.  I will be closer to God and hopefully closer to those I love.  I think that accepting is a higher form of love.  It is unconditional love.  It is “love the sinner, hate the sin” kind of love.  It is almost a form of blindness, blindness to perceivable faults of others.

I want that love.  Don’t we all want that love?  To get it we have to give it.

Fear, anger, judgment, jealousy… all of it… it has to go.  Where in my heart will I store all this love if those things are in there?  I want to love, accept and just “be” with those who need me, just let them be them, sit beside them and love them.  Serve them, when the opportunity arises but always and only from love, never from “Hey, you know what I think you should do?”

I’ve said it eleventy billion times and I will say it at least once more, Miss Swan:  Love wins.

I did leave a note for future adorers, telling them that the frog is in the chapel somewhere.

Thanks for the inspiration, little frog.  I wish I could have saved you.  I guess I had to save me.

 

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