Skimming the surface of the pool, movement caught my eye near the ladder. Stepping closer I was started to see a cute little wide-eyed frog staring back at me. No doubt he was equally surprised by my presence. But when I reached the skimmer net towards him, he jumped, then pushed off gliding away. He stretched his little legs out appearing carefree and content as he jetted into the deep beyond the reach of my net.
Several days with staggering temperatures made the water look appealing to both of us. What my web-footed friend didn’t know was that because of the heat, I’d treated the water with extra shock to keep the water crystal clear. The sparkling water may have felt like a respite from the heat, but I knew that if he lingered, it would become toxic and kill him. I had no desire to share my swimming experience with the little guy and certainly didn’t want to let him die either.
A bit of a comedy routine ensued. Me reaching to scoop him up, him jumping off at just the right- or wrong time depending on your perspective. I was thankful no one was around to witness or capture my adventure in frog “fishing” that day. Eventually my persistence paid off. I managed to catch him and relocate him to the nice wooded area on the back of our property. So far he hasn’t found his way back to the pool.
As I thought about my little visitor, I realized in life, we sometimes respond like this frog. He left a few good nuggets of wisdom that are good reminders for all of us.
Don’t “swim away” from your source of help.
The frog didn’t realize at first that I was there to help him so he pushed away in fear, further immersing himself in greater danger. In life, fear can cause us to retreat, withdraw, or isolate, pushing us further away from our sources of help. When life catches you off guard and causes you to be fearful, instead of taking your next step out of fear, choose to step towards your support rather than pushing help away. It may feel scary at first, but when you carefully choose your direction and choose help over hiding, you’ll be much “freer” in the end.
Don’t ignore dangers.
Pretending you are carefree when you are swimming in toxic water is dangerous. Simply ignoring something that can harm you does not equalize the danger. The longer you stay exposed, the greater the risk. My frog friend could have paid with his life. There are some risks in our lives that are that hazardous. If for example you’re addicted to your phone and you continue to text while you drive, the longer you swim in that denial, the greater the risk of harming yourself or killing someone else. Be truthful with yourself about your behaviors and habits. Make changes where you need to. Don’t flirt with disaster any longer.
Get away toxic temptations.
When I first scooped the frog out, he jumped under the diving board to hide. When I reached my net to scoop him up, he jumped back into the deep end that was no doubt “calling to him.” It wasn’t enough for me to get him out of the pool the first time. He needed to be removed far away from the danger before he was safe. Danger and temptation aren’t a toy to be played with. In life when a situation pulls you into a place you do not belong, no matter how innocent in may seem – refuse to allow yourself to be drawn back in. Increase your distance. Get away and don’t look back. Physically put distance between you and temptations that are toxic to you.
Thankfully as I write this the weather forecast shows our temperatures returning to normal. I’m thankful for the remainder in the heat with the help of a little frog that will serve to remind me how I want to respond the next time the deep end tries to beacon. If you don’t have a dangerous situation in your own path, you may have someone in your life who needs you to reach out and pull them to safety. Be their support and encouragement. And, if this encouraged you, please share it!
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