When you aren’t a tadpole anymore, but you still aren’t a frog, you’re a froglet. I’m reading a book about frogs to my children (how could we not after chasing a toad on Saturday?), and I read that, on the way to becoming a frog, the tadpole endures a curious in-between phase.
The froglet phase.
She has lungs but must stay in water. She has feet but can’t yet manage the land. Now a foreigner in the place once her home, she cannot even breathe. Her gills betray her, and her tail that helps her swim disappears.
She doesn’t quite fit in her environment because she’s made for a different one.
I read the text with my daughters and look at pictures of frantic froglets, fanning a worthless stub of tail, bursting through the water’s surface to gulp that breath of air.
Something about coming to the surface like that resonates deeply with me. I saw myself in that froglet. I saw myself gulping for spiritual truth, for spiritual refreshment, because the physical environment wasn’t–and couldn’t–be my satisfaction.
As spiritual beings made for communion with God, how do I manage in the grime and slosh of daily life when I’m made for a different environment–a heavenly one, a spiritual one? We toggle like froglets on the rim of two environments. I need to rise, fast and direct, to the surface of the water and take the deepest breath I can from the environment I was made for.
When a frantic froglet realizes her gills and tail won’t work–and shouldn’t–she propels herself up and out of that murky underwater world and up into the light. She breathes in what she was made for.
It helps me live with flair to think of myself as a froglet. My environment wasn’t meant to sustain my life. There’s a whole world outside of the dark water. I need to swim up, breathe deeply through a life of prayer and connection to God, and look around.
There’s glorious land ahead. And once I see it, the weight of this world doesn’t hold me down.
(Image “Tailed Froglet” courtesy of W.A. Djatmiko)