When they did, the grass, which had sprung up green and luscious in early March, would cease growing and turn brown. I remember that simply walking on it would make it crack and crumble underneath one’s feet. Thereafter, wherever one had trod, the grass would literally die, leaving darkened footprints in the yard until the next spring.
The second time grass cracked and crumbled under my feet was here in east Tennessee early this morning, where we are experiencing the southernmost tip of a much ballyhooed polar vortex. With temperatures in the teens and approaching single digits, the grass in my yard is once again brown.
As I walked across it out to the mailbox early this morning, I heard that old familiar sound and felt that old familiar feeling as the grass literally crunched and crumbled under my feet, snapping as it did into fragments under the combination of extreme temperature and weight.
As I have reflected on this, I have been reminded that grass is not the only thing to suffer under extremes of temperature. The same can be true for people. Sometimes, they can be too hot; and sometimes they can be too cold! Yet, at other times, they can be too lukewarm!
Aesop, the famed ancient Greek fabulist and storyteller, once told a fable titled “The Man and the Satyr”, in which he alludes to people who are at times hot and at other times cold, depending upon what the circumstance warrants.
According to Aesop…
A long time ago a man met a satyr in the forest and succeeded in making friends with him. The two soon became the best of comrades, living together in the man’s hut. But one cold winter evening, as they were walking homeward, the satyr saw the man blow on his fingers.
“Why do you do that?” asked the satyr. “To warm my hands,” the man replied.
When they reached home, the man prepared two bowls of porridge. These he placed steaming hot on the table, and the comrades sat down very cheerfully to enjoy the meal. But much to the satyr’s surprise, the man began to blow into his bowl of porridge.
“Why do you do that?” he asked. “To cool my porridge,” replied the Man.
The satyr sprang hurriedly to his feet and made for the door. “Goodbye,” he said, “I’ve seen enough. A fellow that blows hot and cold in the same breath cannot be friends with me!”
This fable, like all others told by Aesop, ends with a moral: “The man who talks for both sides is not to be trusted by either.”
The fictional satyr in Aesop’s fable disapproved of someone who chose to embrace neither heat nor cold, but always sought a more middle-of-the-road, more tepid state in life.
He is not alone in his condemnation of any such approach. Jesus, too, disapproved of such behavior. Only He was more pointed in His feelings about it! In the New Testament Book of Revelation (chapter 3, verses 14-16), He speaks and says…
14“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
As most anyone who has ever felt the effects of extreme temperatures knows, drinking something warm when one is cold or something cold when one is hot is quite preferable to drinking something lukewarm on either occasion!
All of this raises a question for each of us. What sort of taste do we as individuals leave in God’s mouth?! Are we pleasing to His palate in the way we live our lives? Apparently, He would have us be either too hot or too cold, anything but lukewarm!
AESOP’S FABLE: https://fablesofaesop.com/the-man-and-the-satyr.html.