I have a thinking spot. Every day I sit in my chair outside on my patio to meditate about God and seek to listen to God’s still, small voice. This morning when I opened the blinds to the back patio door, there was a toad sitting on the patio. Not being much of an outdoor’s person, I knew I had to get rid of the toad, or I would not be comfortable sitting outside—a distance of a foot or two is too close for comfort. I go and get my broom so that I can shoo the toad away into the yard. I figured as soon as I got close it, the toad would hop away; it didn’t. I scooted it a ‘safe’ distance away and watched as it slowly made its way toward my neighbors. About twenty minutes later, the toad headed back in my direction. I watched out my patio door as the toad walked onto my concrete patio and then slowly moved into the dirt of my small, empty flower bed—yeah, I didn’t get flowers planted this year. I sat on my living room carpet just watching the toad, how it settled itself into the dirt, how its eyelids moved at the same time as it’s hind legs. I just sat there observing the toad—from a safe distance—wondering why it walked across the cement instead of hopping; wondering how long it would sit there in the dirt; hoping it wasn’t planning on staying there all day and disrupting my space.
I think that toad is a lot like the word of God. From a safe distance, we admire it, exegete it, embrace it; ponder on how it applies to our lives. Yet, when the word of God makes us uncomfortable, when it invades our sacred, personal space—that part of our lives that we have ordered just the way we like it—we try to shoo it away. Why? Because it makes us acknowledge our fears and insecurities; it causes us to reevaluate those parts of our lives where we are content and comfortable. We can try to push it away and believe that it doesn’t belong there, but it keeps coming back—confronting our deepest thoughts and feelings, hoping that we will allow it live among us and within us, hoping that we will be willing to examine and reevaluate the innermost parts of our hearts and minds in light of God’s word. Are we willing to allow the word of God to enter into every space in our lives?