Next I turned my attention to all the outrageous violence that takes place on this planet—the tears of the victims, no one to comfort them; the iron grip of oppressors, no one to rescue the victims from them. Ecclesiastes 4:1 (TMSG)
The “frog in the kettle” is not a new concept. I’ve never put the theory to a test. It seems somehow quite cruel, placing a perfectly innocent toad in a saucepan of tepid water to make him feel comfortable (at first), only to slowly turn the heat up and watch him adjust his body temperature while he cooks; he’s content to do this – until it’s too late! Cruelty aside – crock-pot frog is not my idea of Sunday dinner or fun!
But, perhaps we’re looking at it from the wrong side of the stove. Have you ever considered what it is like to BE the frog? No? Maybe there’s a reason for that. Is the temperature just right for you; everything going quite well?
Whatever your life has been like recently – or in the long haul – remember there are plenty of ways to get cooked without noticing it – until it’s too late.
The Roman Emperor, Nero, had to sign his first death warrant as a very young man. Historians report that the significance of that event almost overwhelmed him with grief. He was affected for months afterward. Years later Nero had become so accustomed to death by the simple stroke of his hand he could sign the death warrants of his own mother and brother without flinching…frog sauté. Nero’s conscience was cooked!
We “get used to” a lot of things; like good Marines, we adjust, we adapt, we overcome.
What is it to which we are becoming accustomed?
· More murders per hour of TV watching?
· More and stronger profanity on the silver screens?
· More and increasingly explicit acts of sex to view right in our living rooms?
· More comfortable with the government program that “takes care of me”?
It does seem that the issues which come to mind when we talk “frog in the kettle” are almost entirely negative – harmful, taking life from us by degrees.
From Saucepan to Microwave
Life moves exponentially faster today – we seem to be able to dispatch our frogs better than ever! Psychologists call it “desensitization”. We lose our ability to feel the pain – so we’re not bothered by what used to bother us – as much! We’ve moved from the saucepan slow-cooker to the microwave express!
What Bothers You?
Here’s what bothers me; every time I hear myself saying: but I’m just one person, and besides you can’t save ‘em all.
When I do a self-check and find myself bailing-out on an issue because the tepid water in my saucepan is so warm, fuzzy and happy that I’ve become complacent about the way anyone else is being treated, I want to scream – Russell….SAY something!
We are not “islands unto ourselves”. Created to be in community and fellowship with God and each other, the ripples my neighbor’s stone makes when it hits my pond is a cry for justice, righteousness, or even simply human touch. As the body of Christ, believers are not to sit by as our culture’s microwave cooks our neighbor. When my neighbor hurts, I have to ask myself, why don’t I hurt?
Jesus is always waiting for us to take a “first step”. Years ago I asked a young man named Dennis why he had responded to the invitation to accept Christ. Dennis told me, I’ve wanted to be a Christian for awhile; I finally got up enough nerve to put one foot in the aisle, and I guess Jesus picked up the other one and helped me walk.
I think Jesus does the same stuff today, but not if you’re too comfortable on that microwave turntable.
What will it take for you to move one foot out on the aisle of serving Him today?