Farmville Enterprise August 7, 2019
Quick as a Cricket is a popular children’s book beautifully illustrated by Don Wood. Representing the voice of a young child Audrey Wood writes, “I’m as quick as a cricket, I’m as slow as a snail, I’m as small as an ant, I’m as large as a whale. I’m as sad as a basset, I’m as happy as a lark, I’m as nice as a bunny, I’m as mean as a shark. I’m as cold as a toad, I’m as hot as a fox, I’m as weak as a kitten, I’m as strong as an ox. I’m as loud as a lion, I’m as quiet as a clam, I’m as tough as a rhino, I’m as gentle as a lamb. I’m as brave as a tiger, I’m as shy as a shrimp, I’m as tame as a poodle, I’m as wild as a chimp. I’m as lazy as a lizard, I’m as busy as a bee, Put it all together, And you’ve got ME!”
This book provides a wonderful picture for children that we all display a range of characteristics and attitudes. We are not always one certain way and do not fit neatly into only one category. Each of us is a combination of traits. We might act quite differently one day or week than the next, depending on circumstances. Our character and integrity remain consistent as we seek to live for God but our emotions can cause our demeanor or reactions to change.
God, a truly creative Creator, made no two of us exactly alike. We were made in the image of God not as flat, predictable one-dimensional creatures but as unique and complex.
As the book demonstrates, there are times when we are brave and times when we are shy. There are times to be quietly reserved or serious and times to be loudly exuberant or silly. Jesus consistently demonstrated love and compassion but showed righteous anger to the money changers in the temple, irritation with the bad attitude of the Pharisees and frustration at the slowness of the disciples to understand his message.
The writer of Ecclesiastes, wrestling with the meaning of life, deals with a related topic. “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)
When we encounter someone we may be seeing only a snapshot of them. They might at present be “sad as a basset” when they are more often “happy as a lark.” Perhaps they are going through a time of mourning as opposed to a time of dancing. They could be speaking the hard truth as opposed to being encouraging. Just as we want others to extend grace and understanding regarding what we might be facing we should do the same for them.