Almost everyone knows Kermit the Frog. After all, the multitalented Muppet character created by Jim Henson has been a star since 1969, when Sesame Street first appeared on our television screens. Kermit’s comical voice always seems to grab the attention of little children. And he has always been great at teaching wisdom to little people that are just beginning to understand the world around them.
Sesame Street and Kermit the Frog were created to entertain and educate America’s children, but there are a few things Kermit the Frog can teach the humans with a lot more birthdays under their belt.
First of all, Kermit taught his audiences that children desperately want to learn, and that they learn best while having fun doing it. I remember watching my children hang on Kermit’s every word, mostly because he didn’t seem to be talking down to them. He talked to them as if they were good friends, just having a little chat.
Jim Henson knew that using Kermit to teach children information that would be vital building blocks in children’s early education was a great way to eliminate fear and anxiety from the learning process. Children loved learning knew things from Kermit. Parents loved the help.
But one of the most interesting things Kermit ever did was to sing a song that inadvertently expressed the struggle every Christian must face. In the song “It’s Not Easy Being Green” (Lyrics by Joe Raposo), Kermit sings about the internal conflict he faces by being a color that doesn’t really standout in world full of green. In the very first stanza of the song, Kermit expresses his desire to be something he is not: “I think it could be nicer being red, or yellow or gold – or something much more colorful like that.”
As the song progresses, Kermit realizes that there are many powerful things that are green: the ocean, at times, a mountain, or a tall tree. He begins to feel better about the situation he finds himself in, realizing that flashy and sparkling colors do not make his color any less appealing or important to the world around him.
When people decide to devote their life to the Christian faith, they give up some of that sparkling color the world finds so appealing. In Luke 9:23 (NIV) Jesus tells us: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
The New Living Translation says: “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.”
As Christians, we are called to abandon our attempts to reach toward what the world considers greatness and worthy, and exchange that human trait for a Godly character, focusing on the eternal will of our Creator.
Kermit the Frog started off singing about his desire to be something he wasn’t, and I don’t know a single human being who hasn’t at some point in their life felt the same way. But God made us who we are, what we are, and put us all in a certain time frame here on earth. When we waste valuable time trying to be something we are not, we cannot be about the business of being what God intended us to be.
The Christian who struggles with money issues may never come to the place of financial stability, but he can still win souls for Christ. The Christian writer who has never sold a single column or manuscript may never become a famous writer, but he can still write something that may lead another person to seek redemption. We cannot be carrying our crosses forward if we have still not accepted that God placed us at a certain place, in a certain time, and in a certain body to do His bidding.
So the next time you believe that it is impossible to reach others for Christ unless you stand out, switch the last stanza of Kermit’s song from “green” to “human”.
When human is all there is to be
It could make you wonder why, but why wonder why?
Wonder, I am human and it’ll do fine,
And I think it’s what I want to be.
Jesus did not say that anyone who wanted to follow him would have to undergo an upward metamorphosis in order to follow Him. In fact, he commanded us to become less of ourselves and surrender our need to be accepted by the world.
No, Kermit, it isn’t easy being green in a world full of color. And it is not easy being human in a universe created by an omnipotent God. But it’ll do fine.