Keep on Churning
Somewhere in the woods one day, there lived two frogs who were the best of friends. One was big, lean and green and the other was tiny, slender and grey, but despite their differences, they got along well. Always going on adventures, they wandered deep into the woods. One day they came across a small barn where they saw a farmer leave a bucket near a stack of hay. Curious, they hopped over to see what was in the bucket. But because the bucket was tall, they couldn’t see what was inside, so they just jumped in.
It turns out, the bucket was filled with milk and now they were stuck inside. They couldn’t get out because the sides were too slippery. All they could do was swim. So they swam and swam, but no matter how hard they tried, they couldn’t get out. After one hour the big frog said to his pal, “Tiny, my friend, there is no use paddling any longer, we are going to drown, we might as well give up. There is no point, no one will come and save us.” But Tiny replied, “Hold on Big, keep paddling, somebody will get us out eventually. As long as we don’t give up, we won’t drown, and we can’t die.” So, they continued paddling for hours. As the sun started to go down, the big frog said, “I can’t go on any longer, Tiny, there is no sense in doing this because we are going to drown anyway. What’s the use, I have given up already.” The big frog stopped swimming. He gave up, drowned in the milk and died.
Tiny was beside himself with grief at the loss of his dear old friend, but more determined than ever, he started paddling even faster and faster to numb the pain. Suddenly at around midnight, because he had been paddling for so long, he noticed that the milk had turned into butter. So, letting out a joyous yell, he jumped out of the bucket back into the woods. He was alive! He made it! But he was also sad because he had lost his best friend. He knew that he hadn’t been able to help his friend because once his friend had made the decision to give up, he was doomed.
The same is true with our spiritual life. As long as we don’t give up, as long as we ‘keep on churning’, we will eventually achieve our goal. Just as the frogs could never have imagined that their constant churning would turn the milk into butter and thus enable their escape, we too are so limited that we cannot imagine the power of God’s grace and what it can accomplish.
The Master is our beloved friend, our greatest well-wisher who is constantly encouraging us to ‘keep paddling’, not to analyze, not to have any expectations, to just do our meditation regularly and sincerely, and leave the rest to the Lord.
At the end of the day, what else can one ask for? In a world filled with chaos and uncertainty, there is only one thing that we can count on, and that is the Lord’s love and grace. But there is only one place where he bestows that grace and where we can receive it – the stillness of meditation. The more time we spend connected to the Shabd, the storehouse of infinite power that created the entire universe, the more strength we receive to keep on churning. That is all the Master asks of us.