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Hearing the Frogs Croak – A Reflection on Being Still

February 9, 2012

At our “Attentiveness” Study a few years ago, we read about a family who drove through Kentucky on their way to Toronto. They did a little sightseeing along the way and stopped at Sloan’s Pond, a creek known in the backwoods of Kentucky for its huge bullfrogs. The four of them got out of the car, went down a makeshift pier, and sat at the edge of the pond and waited. After a few quiet moments, one frog appeared, then two, then three, four, five – soon dozens of frogs were croaking in harmony. As the family sat there listening to the beautiful sounds of nature, another car pulled up, and two people got out. Hearing the sound of the car, the frogs in the pond quickly disappeared. Hurriedly and noisily the two tourists came to the edge of the pond, hoping to hear and see the frogs. Soon one of them said, “I guess the word we heard about great frogs at Sloan’s Pond was just an overblown story. There don’t seem to be any frogs here anymore.” And after a few more minutes of talking, pacing the pier, and making more than their share of noise, they got back into their car and left, sure that there were no longer frogs to be found at Sloan’s Pond.

The other family stayed where they were for a few more minutes, and sure enough, once it was quiet, the frogs reappeared one by one and began serenading the family again. As the family returned to their car, and continued on their journey toward Canada, they reflected on what it must be like to go through life like those two tourists – too busy to see the wonders of the world around them, so noisy and preoccupied with themselves that they were unable to experience what they had driven all that way to hear. And they were likely to tell others that there are no more frogs at Sloan’s Pond. 

We live in a world so busy and noisy, where people live their lives not listening and then saying that this shows that God is not speaking – that there is no more God in the world; that God is imaginary, absent. But if we will follow our Lord’s example and allow ourselves to be quieted, slowing down long enough to listen, we shall find, to paraphrase Mark Twain, that the rumours of God’s death have been greatly exaggerated – that God does indeed speak words of love to our hearts, so that we who wait upon the Lord renew our strength, we mount up with wings like eagles, renewed daily so that we run and are not weary, we walk and do not faint, as we live and love and serve in Jesus’ Name.

I invite you to allow yourself to be slowed down now and spend the next few moments listening to God speak through the words of Psalm 46:10. (To help you “be still,” I suggest that you pause for a moment of silence after each line.) You may also want to watch the videos embedded below to spend a few moments hearing the frogs croak!

Be still, and know that I am God. 
Be still, and know that I am.
Be still and know.
Be still.
Be.
Amen.

(This is adapted from the conclusion of the sermon at our February 5 Services.) 

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