Did you hear about the iguanas in South Florida? Apparently, an unexpected cold snap caused quite a stir as iguanas fell from the tree branches like autumn leaves – well, um, like heavy, scaly, scary autumn leaves. The cold blooded lizard thrives in temperatures that range from 73 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit but become completely immobile when the temperature dips below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. So last month when the temperatures fell into the mid twenties, the lizards just lost their grip – literally.
Herpetologists explain that the reptiles go into a deep sleep when it’s too cold. And in the case of these South Florida iguanas, they were so zonked out they simply fell from the trees. The scaly, green lizards became very still and slowly turned icy gray as their bodies shut down. And then slumbering away, they fell fast to the ground when no longer able to stay atop their tree dwelling perches.
Can you just imagine? You’re out strolling in the park or walking the dog, just enjoying the brisk weather and then out of nowhere, a large ashen iguana comes smashing down on your head!
I’m glad I live in Texas.
But as strange as those reptiles seem, they remind me of me sometimes. Because there are times when my heart grows cold and I lose my spiritual grip. I fall asleep on the job of caring for others and then I quickly crash to the ground.
There’s a verse in the book of John that describes the condition. Jesus is speaking and here’s what he says, “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 (NLT)
You see, when I am joined to Christ and his teachings, making them a daily part of my life – my heart stays on fire for God and others. And my selfless, loving actions are considered fruit. But when I pull away from God, my heart grows cold and I lose my grip. My life a picture of fruitlessness. So frankly, I become a lot like those slumbering iguanas crashing down from the Vine, thumbing people on the head.
But there is good news for the lizards and for me. Iguanas simply need a little time warming up in the sunshine and then they are back to normal. And me? I simply need to pull back into the Son, warming my heart until I get my grip again.