You can't force spiritual growth

... but you can nurture it

  When i worked as a school librarian, I had the opportunity to read to small children. One story I read from the Frog and Toad series by Arnold Lobel especially comes back to me from time to time.

A frog who decides to plant some seeds is disappointed because there is no response from them, not even after they have been in the ground a couple of hours! Frog proceeds to try all kinds of things to encourage germination, but each additional effort doesn't seem to get results. Finally, by nightfall, he decides that the seeds must be afraid of the dark, so he brings out some candles and stays up to sing to them to soothe them. In due course, the seeds do finally sprout, but by then poor Frog is so frazzled by all his work, he decides it is just too tough a job for him ever to try again.

This story is often just what I need when confronted by some disturbing event or fear. My first reaction is momentarily to forget all the fine examples of God's healing power I have grown to know and have experienced. Instead, I become anxious and defensive.

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January 26, 1998

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