A Frog Boiling Fable

Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”

  • Mark 3:28-29

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

  • Revelation 3:20

“Indeed, the safest road to Hell is the gradual one — the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”

  • C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

On June 28, 2019, I wrote a post about boiling a frog.  Here’s the LINK.

It is fairly simple to boil a live frog.  Just bring the water temperature up slowly, and by the time any instinct tells the frog that leaping out must be done, the frog’s muscles do not react due to the warm water, and the frog dies.

But as I opened my day in prayer, on the day that this was written, a fable came to mind.  You know how fables always start, so here goes…

Once upon a time, a long time ago, there was a beautiful lily pond where frogs frolicked and were happy.

But one year later, there was a season when the sun was always hidden by the clouds.  To have sustenance, they cooked their food.  They did not eat their bugs raw.  The pagans did that.  They would skewer their bugs and place them in the sunlight.  In no time, they had a tasty, nutritional meal, sun-fried bugs.  But with the cloudy days, it took all day to fry just one bug.

They turned to Preacher Frog, and he prayed to the Great Frog, the maker of all things.  If they only had a means to cook their food other than the sun, all would be well with the lily pond community.

That night, there was a terrible earthquake.  All the residents of the lily pond huddled in the court square, wondering what on earth was going on.  But when the sun came up, they noticed that there was this strange thing that had been placed on the east side of the lily pond.  The Preacher Frog said, “This is our answer from the Great Frog.  It is a pot.  The Great Frog has spoken.  When the water in the pot gets hotter, we can just take our skewered bugs and place them in the hot water, and we can eat boiled bugs.  The Great Frog says that boiled bugs taste even better, and they are less fattening.

But then Preacher Frog gave a warning.  “All of you be warned.  Do not swim in the pot.  There is danger in the pot.  There is death in the pot.”

Well, in the village, there was a family.  There was Daddy Frogg, Mommy Frogg, Brother Frogg, and Sister Frogg.  They were special frogs because their name was spelled with a double “G”.  At least that is what Daddy Frogg had said that his granddaddy had told him.  The truth is that Granddaddy’s great, great, great granddaddy had come to the lily pond years ago, and he immigrated through Ellis Lily Pad.  The official that signed him in had been drinking a bit too much “pond water” and he wrote the name down wrong, but the Frogg family stuck to the idea that they were special.

Life went on as usual.  They could wait all day for the cloudy sky to fry a bug, or they could place the skewered bug into the warm water of the pot.  Somehow, the water was warm, even with the cloudy skies.  No one knew that when the Great Frog had placed the pot in a crack in the earth – You know, so that the frogs could reach the rim and cook from it – the crack reached down to a source of heat deep in the ground.  The water in the pot would only get warmer.

The Great Frog had done what the frogs asked.  The pot was good.  It provided warmth in the cold weather and it provided a means to cook their food.  But the choice of obeying the Great Frog or not obeying gave the frogs free will.  They could choose to obey or not to obey.

But one day, a stranger came into the lily pond.  He was called Prophet Frrog.  He was special.  His name had a double “R”.  Really, his great, great, great granddaddy had come to the lily pond the same day that the Frogg ancestor had come, and the Frrogs simply moved to a quiet, unnoticed corner of the lily pond.

Prophet Frrog started telling everyone that not swimming in the pot was the silliest of rules.  All you had to do was dip your sore leg into the warm water and see that it was good to bathe in the pot.  The soreness went away, almost instantly.

Many of the young boys that Brother Frogg knew jumped in and started swimming.  They said the water was great.  Muscles Frog, one of the largest frogs in the lily pond, took his music player with him, and they swam to the center of the pot.  Brother Frogg, known as Bro Frogg, thought they were the only smart ones in the lily pond.  All these people in the lily pond that were afraid of the water in the pot were stupid.

As he was about to jump into the pot, Daddy Frogg said, “No, Bro, do not go!  There is danger in the pot.  There is death in the pot.”

Bro Frogg said, “My friends are in the pot.  They have not died.  They swam to the center of the pot.  There is no pot monster.  They looked.”  But he hesitated.  He was, after all, a special frog.  His name had a double “G”.

Then his best friend yelled, “Hey, Bro, y-y-y-you aren’t special.  My name is L-L-L-L-Larry Ffrog.  My family is n-n-n-not special.  My great, great,-great, granddaddy just had a st-st-st-stutter and they wrote the name the way he s-s-said it.”

So, Bro Frogg jumped in and swam to the center of the pot with his friends where Muscles Frog held his music player over his head and treaded water.

Sis Frogg, as she was known, yelled to Bro Frogg that it was not safe.  Bro Frogg said that Daddy Frogg was out-of-date.  This was the new life.  Daddy Frogg knew nothing.  Bro Frogg said that the pagan frogs had it right the whole time.  Raw bugs were great!  And he encouraged Sis to join him.

When she got to the middle of the pot, she found Bro Frogg all alone.  She asked where his friends were.  Bro Frogg said, “They are right here.  Can’t you hear the music?”  But the music was an earworm inside Bro Frogg’s head.

Sis Frogg said, “But if we swim in the water, we will die.”

Bro Frogg laughed, “That’s why I doggy paddle.  That is not real swimming.  If you doggy paddle, you shall surely not die.”

So, Sis Frogg doggy paddled, but a frog doing the doggy paddle was not natural.  After a while, she got tired.  She rolled over onto her back to float and rest.  When she did, her tiny ears were below the water level.  She heard a voice from deep down in the water.  “The warm water of the pot is not safe.  Bro’s friends have sunk to the bottom and died.  You and Bro are next.”

Sis flipped over and yelled at Bro, “It is not safe here, Bro.  I heard a voice, and the voice said we were the next to die.”

Bro laughed, “We will surely not die.  I used to hear those voices, but if you tune into the music, you will never hear those voices again.  Tune in, Sis, or be stupid like all those frogs outside the pot, especially Mommy and Daddy Frogg.  They are so stupid, they can’t spell their name right.”

Sis said, “No, Bro, I gotta go.” And she switched to the breast stroke.  Somehow, she was too weak to doggy paddle.  She barely made it to the edge of the pot.  She could not leap out of the pot.  She was too weak, but Daddy and Mommy Frogg held her.  Preacher Frog got Mr. Ffrog to help, even though he was in grief that his son had died, and the four adult frogs pulled Sis Frogg from the pot.

Bro Frogg started to laugh.  It was a silly sight seeing four grown frogs having so much trouble getting a little tiny girl frog out of the pot.  And why ever leave?  The pot was great.  And now the water in the pot developed bubbles.  Even more fun.

Bro Frogg looked to the seldom seen part of the lily pond, and Prophet Frrog, who was really a false prophet, was laughing.  Bro Frogg saw the laughter and he thought, ‘That is one frog that gets it.’  But then he thought, ‘If he gets it. Why is he not in the water enjoying this like I am?’

But the music was in his ears.  He could not hear his family calling to him.  Bro thought, ‘Daddy Frogg was stupid.  Why listen to him.  Daddy Frogg hated him.  He would not let him swim in the pot.  And once you built up stamina, you could doggy paddle all day.’

But Daddy Frogg did not hate his son.  He loved his son.  He was wise, and he knew to listen to what the Great Frog said.  He had to try to save his son.

But Daddy Frogg, Mommy Frogg, Sis Frogg, Preacher Frog, and the grieving Mr. Ffrog all weaved vines together, for there were no ropes in the lily pond.  But no matter how long the vine or how far they could throw it, Bro Frogg only listened to the music in his head.  He could have simply reached out to catch the vine, but he was fine, all alone, until he died, being boiled by the water that the Great Frog had provided in the pot, a good pot that would warm the frogs and cook their food.

Why did the other frogs live, while Bro Frogg and his friends died?

First, Sister Frogg repented.  She turned from her bad behavior and left the pot, having to be helped in doing so, but it sometimes takes help when turning from bad behavior.

The other frogs lived because they listened to the Maker of the Pot; they heeded His warning; and they obeyed.

This is the end of the fable.

What is the great temptation that you face?  It is not the sin that leads to death.  Condemnation comes from not having a life-giving relationship with the Creator.  Death comes from not repenting of your sin and not listening to the Holy Spirit who calls to you.  Do you hear that voice?  Behold, Jesus stands at the door and knocks.  He won’t break the door down.  He wants us to freely decide that His Way is the only Way.  Please, open the door today, before the water in your pot begins to boil.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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