Personal Character

A few weeks ago, while sitting around, someone brought up the story of the scorpion and the frog.  This was my first time to hear it, and for those of you who don’t know it, here it is…

One day, a scorpion looked around at the mountain where he lived and decided that he wanted a change. So he set out on a journey through the forests and hills. He climbed over rocks and under vines and kept going until he reached a river. The river was wide and swift, and the scorpion stopped to reconsider the situation. He couldn’t see any way across. So he ran upriver and then checked downriver, all the while thinking that he might have to turn back.

Suddenly, he saw a frog sitting in the rushes by the bank of the stream on the other side of the river. He decided to ask the frog for help getting across the stream.

“Hellooo Mr. Frog!” called the scorpion across the water, “Would you be so kind as to give me a ride on your back across the river?”

“Well now, Mr. Scorpion! How do I know that if I try to help you, you wont try to kill me?” asked the frog hesitantly.

“Because,” the scorpion replied, “If I try to kill you, then I would die too, for you see I cannot swim!”

Now this seemed to make sense to the frog. But he asked. “What about when I get close to the bank? You could still try to kill me and get back to the shore!”

“This is true,” agreed the scorpion, “But then I wouldn’t be able to get to the other side of the river!”

“Alright then…how do I know you wont just wait till we get to the other side and THEN kill me?” said the frog.

“Ahh…,” crooned the scorpion, “Because you see, once you’ve taken me to the other side of this river, I will be so grateful for your help, that it would hardly be fair to reward you with death, now would it?!”

So the frog agreed to take the scorpion across the river. He swam over to the bank and settled himself near the mud to pick up his passenger. The scorpion crawled onto the frog’s back, his sharp claws prickling into the frog’s soft hide, and the frog slid into the river. The muddy water swirled around them, but the frog stayed near the surface so the scorpion would not drown. He kicked strongly through the first half of the stream, his flippers paddling wildly against the current.

Halfway across the river, the frog suddenly felt a sharp sting in his back and, out of the corner of his eye, saw the scorpion remove his stinger from the frog’s back. A deadening numbness began to creep into his limbs.

“You fool!” croaked the frog, “Now we shall both die! Why on earth did you do that?”

The scorpion shrugged, and did a little jig on the drownings frog’s back.

“I could not help myself. It is my nature.”

Then they both sank into the muddy waters of the swiftly flowing river.

What a story.  It’s basically alluding to the fact that people never change, although, that isn’t what I want to talk about.  I want to talk about what happens when they DO change….. man, what a BEAUTIFUL thing.  I’ve been the scorpion, and I’ve been the frog, and I remember so vividly the day that I decided I was going to RADICALLY CHANGE myself and my character.  The only thing that could of pulled me out of the life I was living was the call of Jesus.  Does that sound cheesy to you?  I really don’t care.  It’s so true that it makes me feel 100% lighter even thinking about it.  I used to be a liar, and a coward.  I used to run away from my problems when I knew that I had done something wrong.  I used to blame anything and everything else for why my life wasn’t going the way I wanted.  And when I failed, I threw myself into at the same time belittling myself and blaming everyone else.  What a sad, sick shell of a person I was.

I’m sure there was someone, somewhere saying that I’d never change.  Actually, I KNOW there was someone saying those very things.  And actually, research and life experience proves to most people that that is absolutely the case.  How rare it is that someone really wants a change and follows through with it, and do you know why?  If you are trying to do it alone, you will fail.  We’re human; it’s in our nature to be screw-ups.  It’s our nature to be cowardly and selfish.  The only way I managed such a change, was through Jesus.  This is not to say that I have it all together.  There are days when I yell, and throw things, and feel two inches tall, and let people get to me.  There are days when I’m selfish, and mean, and cowardly.  But this is not my character.  I choose to run (or in most cases, fall) back to Jesus, even as I’m throwing a fit.  What a comfort, what a Joy.  Today has been rough for me, internally.  I’ve just been having one of those days when for some reason you feel off.  But I’m encouraged knowing that I’m not alone.  I hope you are too.

And to complete this random blog post…. I wanted to show you a few photos that remind me of my Grandpa.  He passed away this year, and Christmas time without him is not coming as easily as I expected.  He was a great man.  He loved me, and ducks, and his Triumph, and chapstick.  I’ll miss him this holiday season, and always.

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