Frogs, Fish, and Photoshopped Hyper-Reality (Identity 04)

I’m sure you’ve heard of the frog in the kettle. If a frog is in a kettle of water, and the kettle is slowly warmed, the frog will not move. It acclimates to the water temperature as it gets warmer and warmer, until it hits boiling and then it kills the frog. I haven’t double-checked the science on this to make sure it is exact, but let’s go with it for right now.

The point is that the water becomes dangerously hot, but so gradually that it goes unnoticed, until it is too late. That’s a metaphor for what has happened with our culture. It was gradual, it sped up like crazy as it got hotter, and now we are in near lethal conditions for flourishing.

This past Sunday, I created another metaphor with the fish and water. We have gone from crystal clear water, to cloudy, to dirty, to toxic water. But it was gradual. Now the dirty-toxic water feels normal. But if we could be dropped in the crystal clear waters we were meant to swim in, we would be shocked and dismayed at our new norm!

I also added in one more metaphor of freshwater fish trying to survive in a saltwater sea. They can’t. The salt water kills them by dehydration. Surrounded by the wrong kind of water, the waters of life, identity, meaning, and purpose are sucked out of them, and the freshwater fish dies of dehydration. We are the freshwater fish and we are swimming in the saline solutions of a culture far removed from God.

The photoshopped hyper-reality is now the dirty-toxic-saline waters in which we swim. They are the new norm, but they cannot sustain life. Not a good life. Not a worthy life. Not the life of love, generosity, service, beauty, dignity, wonder, reverence, trust, integrity, authenticity (and add a lot of other really good words) that we were meant to have and which a flourishing life requires.

While these metaphors have so many applications, I am using them with your IDENTITY. The Truest Things About You are the waters of life. You will not find that kind of water in the world.

That is why Living Word is here. We are an oasis of life-giving water. We are like an aquarium of fresh water where you can swim and rehydrate. And we want to help you create micro-environments for you, your family, your friends, and the people around you.

Much more to come,
Pastor Brian

Brian Rice
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