Friday, September 7

frogs, toads, and all things small

What do you see in the picture first?

If you're like me, you saw the frog right away. When I was in first and second grade, we read all the books and even performed plays to the Frog & Toad children's stories. For a while there, I even believed that Mr. Frog and Mr. Toad lived down the street, in a tiny cottage, writing letters and stories to my Lake Minatare classroom. Probably because my teacher snuck around, writing those letters herself, in sloppy, slimy handwriting and delivered them once a week via a teeny mailbox near the playground, complete with swamp stamps. Those amphibians were as real as Santa Claus.

Thus, I saw a frog atop a lily or algae bush near the edge of his swamp, waiting for dinner.

We've been doing a lot of perception talk in my Psychology 101 class this week. In fact, we've been looking at hundreds of optical illusions and trickery to see how our mind processes from top to bottom, bottom to top, and how difficult it can be to convince our mind otherwise. Once you see the other side, however, it's impossible NOT to see it. The mind really is a wonderful creation.

Just this morning, one of my classmates and I were discussing how difficult it was for us to spot a chair instead of a bench, a straight line, and those images that can go either way. She said, "I had to work so hard just to see it, my mind didn't want to see anything other than what I already knew." Jeremiah 43:19 popped into my head. (God's good like that...I don't know His word in and out, but He'll lead me to what He says is true about something.

"See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up, do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland."

My perceptions of difficult days or days that I simply don't understand are that I am lost, a wanderer. My perception tells me that I'm doing something wrong, that things are hopeless, that I don't belong. But God's words are truth. In fact, God has never and will never speak anything but truth. When He was leading those people out of the desert and into a wonderful place, He said, "I am making a way for you."

My perceptions are misleading because all I know is what has happened before, what I have done in the past. My perceptions of something are so far from the truth unless I look to God for wisdom and help.

Now, scroll back up to the picture and find the horse.

Maybe you already saw the horse, maybe you didn't. I'm telling you, I had to look for minutes and minutes until seeing the horse, but now that's all I can see. I cannot look at that picture without twisting my head to the right and seeing the "forsey". (Mom will love that one.)

Frogs and toads, in all their glory, are slimy and slippery, with their long, sticky tongues and odd movements. But a horse is majestic, silent, peaceful and wise. When I see a frog I think of small, insignificant things, but when I see a horse, I think of grace, understanding, peacefulness. When I see my struggles from my own perceptions I see small, insignificant things, but when I see them God's way, I see grace, understanding, and peacefulness. It’s all about my perception and allowing myself to see things a different way.

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