I have a problem for you to solve: There are 5 frogs sitting on a log in pond. (Don’t get hung up on why, they are frogs who knows) One of the frogs decides to jump off the log into the pond. How many frogs are left sitting on the log?
Did you give an answer? What was your answer? I have posed this problem a few times as a coach and as a pastor. I love this problem/question. It really goes to the heart of a very serious issue that many of us struggle with in our lives. The answer is 5. There are still 5 frogs sitting on the log.
Some of you are saying something like, “What? How can there still be 5 on the log if one jumped in the pond?” You are correct, if one jumped into the pond there would not be 5 on the log. Now, re-read the problem and question I posed. The key here is “One of the frogs decides to jump off the log into the pond.” Do you get it? Here it is: deciding is not the same as doing. The frog decided to jump, I didn’t say the frog jumped.
I love this problem/question because it is a simple picture of a large struggle we often face. In fact I think it shows a flaw in the thinking and planning of many of us. Too often we think the problem is solved once we make a decision. Though deciding is important, the decision in and of itself does not change the situation. We must decide, then we must do something about what we have decided.
There are many times when I have decided to lose some weight. Great decision, but a month later I still weigh the same because I did nothing different to lose any weight. Or maybe the decision is to get in better physical condition, and then a month later I am still sitting in my recliner tipping up a bag of chips to get the last crumbs. (Those last crumbs are the best, aren’t they?) Or I make a decision to read through the Bible this year, now it’s July and I am stuck in Genesis chapter 12 because I didn’t change my schedule and read a few minutes extra each day. Or I make a decision to spend more time with my family and weeks later I am still working extra hours and watching TV when I get home. Or …. Are you starting to get the picture?
Decisions are often difficult, but making the decision is not the end of the process. If I don’t act on the decision, begin to do something to bring about what I have decided, then my decision really meant nothing. Too many organizations, and individuals, are defined by this cycle of but not changing.
What decision(s) have you made recently that is still “sitting on the log”? What is the first thing you need to do get off the log with that decision?
Here’s hoping you take the first step, or first jump, toward fulfilling that decision today. I need to go, there are a couple of decisions that are still sitting on the log for me. Time to jump. Let’s make some splashes today as we move beyond just deciding.