A group of scientists studying frogs did the following experiment:
They took a frog and measured the distance of its jump. After three consecutive jumps the average was taken and noted down. Then they removed one of its legs and repeated the experiment. Every time they repeated the experiment round, they removed a further leg.
Every time they had removed a leg, they commanded the frog: “leap, frog, leap!” And it did.
When it failed to do so after removal of the fourth leg, they decided to draw their assumption: “When you remove all four legs of the frog, it goes death.”
Now while this is a small anecdote, in our Christian communities, often much of this happens before our noses and we do not seem to realize. Allow me to contextualize this anecdote in merely two possible ways to explain what I mean:
- The drawn assumption does not match the condition.
The underlying assumption of the frog having gone death after removal of all its legs is like assuming the love for Christ can be measured by the person’s active involvement in church ministry.
The love of a person for Christ can be absolutely genuine and deep without that person being a leader of some ministry or being constantly actively involved in such a ministry. It might very well be, that the respective person is called to minister Christ to people outside a church setting primarily. Likewise the opposite might be untrue. A person very much involved in church, might merely be religious or lonely outside of church and thus find own fulfilment within the service toward others, rather than demonstrating devotion to Christ.
However we as Christians often fall into this pit, without even noticing, judging people unknowingly and falsely at that.
- Increased pain eventually stops our listening skills.
This is true so some extend. While some pain in a person’s life might draw them (closer) to Christ, surmounting pain, will make them oblivious to anything significant said to them, outside of this pain.
It is this knowledge that allows us to understand that the starving person will first need food before they will be effective listeners to the Gospel.
At some stage, constant and increased pain will blindside us. Then it is vital to get perspective again and re-calibrate our faith and lives with the help of others and God.
Unless the pain is alleviated however we will die (physically – possibly due to severe illness and thus might be with God; or spiritually – turning away from Christ due to pain experienced.).
Recognizing this second condition in time, will prevent unnecessary damage to people’s faith.
While the “leap frog, leap” is a mere anecdote, it points to significant issues of life. Living a balanced life in the midst of emotional and societal pain and prejudice/assumptions, we will have to learn to not only cope with these two scenarios effectively, but likewise to anticipate and when possible learn to prevent them, living a pro-active rather than re-active life as a Christian.
May God bless you!