This is the habitat we had for Taddy, our late pet tadpole. He’s in there, but I evidently didn’t get the best shot of him. My son won Taddy in a gift exchange at school, and he lived with us for several months. He arrived last fall and made it all the way to July. Here’s the thing. Taddy was supposed to become a frog in about 8-12 weeks, but he lived with us for about 8 months and remained a tadpole.
I puzzled and wondered about him. The whole family did. We fed him. We added the pineapple so he’d have a place to stand. We changed his water regularly (the white line is a hard-water mark, not scum). One thing we didn’t do was change his diet. Was Taddy a forever tadpole because that’s the way God created him or should we have done something else? Maybe we should have transitioned him to frog food. Maybe he needed a better perch.
It’s not much different for us. The Apostle Paul instructs us about our spiritual maturity in his first letter to the Corinthians. “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” (I Corinthians 13:11 NKJV) and later, “I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it,” (I Cor 3:2 NKJV). Paul explains that when we’re new believers, the message needs to be basic. With further instruction we become better equipped to live out faith. For some, spiritual maturity comes fast others it takes a long time.
These are two verses taken somewhat out of context yet speak to the idea that our Christian walk is a journey of growing up and maturing. Jesus spoke similarly with his parable of the seeds and again with His message about the vine and branches. Paul speaks to the Galatians about the fruits of the Spirit.
We’re not to just accept Christ, get Baptized, then warm a pew (or stadium seat) for the rest of our Earthly lives like an airplane seat to the Pearly Gates. We’re to study His word, serve him, be discipled, disciple others. Grow, stumble and struggle and come through stronger and shinier.
Back to the tadpole. We will never know why Taddy was a tadpole his entire earthly life. But I did learn a lesson. I need to give my two little tadpoles larger servings of grown-up spiritual food, give them safe places to try their frog legs, and most importantly pray for them as they grow and mature into the people God created them to be.