Frogs, Cats and Boats

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Musing on 3 English expressions…

‘Mad as a box of frogs’… I’m catching frogs in our garden, putting them in a shoe-box. Dozens of lively frogs are jumping in random directions trying to get out.

‘It’s like trying to herd cats’. I have a friend who has 5 cats. He’s taking them for a walk – trying to keep them together without leads, using conversation and persuasion…

Yesterday at church we were encouraged to be united. It was a right and proper exhortation, brought with passion and enthusiasm…

Many creatures work well together… sheep follow each other, geese fly in formation, schools of fish swim together, wolves hunt in packs… People can be good team players, working together in unity.

But we bring together a group of human beings, each with their own individual set of thoughts, feelings, values, beliefs, and agendas… Hoping for unity in our families, churches, work places or communities we’re faced with the impossibilities of boxed-frogs or herded-cats.

… ‘Don’t rock the boat’… We hope that unity will be found in an un-rocked boat. Sadly, too often our frogs and cats bring division, hurt and fragmentation; the rocked boat has sunk.

Musing… seeking to travel in the same boat together… for unity we need:

Passion… to work tirelessly with a shared vision and a determination to ensure that our boat is sea-worthy; not staying still but sailing forward together in the same direction.

Inclusion… making sure that no one is left behind or excluded from the boat. Intentionally including the injured, independent, wacky, grumpy, different, offensive, anti-social….

Compassion… Caring about everyone, their well-being, opinions, worries, preferences…; responding to their needs; being actively involved with the lives of others; giving without expecting a return.

This I think is the Jesus way…The boat will rock a little – but the frogs and cats will be included and cared for, the boat won’t sink, and we’ll start learning about being united.

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