Legend of the Frog

Friends -

On a recent trip to Salamanca, we toured the university that sat in the middle of the city.  The facade of the church on campus was decorated with intricate stone carvings.  Our guide told us that the artist had carved a tiny frog into the stone and the tradition among the students was that, if you could find the frog, you were guaranteed success in your academic endeavors.  Since I had turned the final draft of my thesis into the school before leaving on vacation, I was determined that I was not going to leave the premises before finding the tiny creature.

The reality is that, whether or not I found the frog, had I not put the required time and effort into my project, it was unlikely that the project would pass, nor should it.  The reality is that the things we can take the most pleasure in, the things that help us to grow, the things that give us an appropriate sense of pleasure and pride, are things which require something of us -- hard work, sacrifice, risk, time.  Much of the time, our accomplishments require the support and encouragement of others, because often things don't go as smoothly as we planned, no matter how hard we've prepared or worked.  And most of the time, our efforts are rewarded if we rely on one particular Other especially.

The truth is that I had discovered the frog long before I started searching for it amongst the stone carvings at Salamanca.  F.R.O.G. =Fully Rely On God.  When we give ourselves completely to God - our hearts, minds, souls, and bodies, God often leads us to do things we never thought or imagined were possible.  God gives us new ideas and the resources to make them happen.  Even when the going gets rough, God promises to be with us every step of the way.  The apostle Paul says, "I can do all things through God/Christ who strengthens me."  (Philippians 4:13)

In the words of my good friend Jeremiah, the bullfrog, "Joy to the world!"  (The thesis passed!)

God's blessings!

Pastor Char  (aka the Rev. Dr. Hoffmann)