Flippy and Floppy are my two bunnies who were born nine years ago under the peony bush on the north side of the house after my husband, Dave, passed away.
It’s always been easy to tell them apart by the unique way they run. When Flippy runs he leans a little to the right. When Floppy runs he leans a little to the left. The unscientific theory I’ve developed over the years is that they are mirror twins. This explains why they do things oppositely, as if they’re looking into the mirror and seeing their reflection.
I’ve had long discussions about this with people I don’t know well and they all agree with my theory.
Flippy’s outgoing. Many times he’s gotten so close to me that he’s actually run over my shoe. From the very beginning he hasn’t been afraid of me. Often he’s sat close by and watched me weed my flowers. At times I’ve even thought he was smiling. I think he sees me as the gardener and his personal chef. No wonder he smiles. I’d smile, too, if I had someone like that.
Floppy’s shy and reticent. He keeps his distance, standing chocolate-bunny still when he sees me. In cartoon fashion, he freezes in mid-hop, as if I can’t see him against the green grass or the white snow.
He’s the one who carefully tests the water with his big toe before he ever thinks of putting his foot in. Flippy’s already in the water splashing around, floating on an inflated duck raft, sipping iced tea and leading others in song.
I believe that Flippy and Floppy are a special gift from God. Their unusual antics brought laughter back into my life after loss. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).
The bunny brothers have also taught me many life lessons. Like don’t expect someone to change just because you want them to.
One morning I put a beautiful pot of pansies on my back steps. I thought about what a wonderful treat it would be to see them when I got home from work. But when I returned home, they were all gone. Every flower had been eaten all the way down to the dirt. Each last morsel devoured. They never grew back.
And I knew immediately who the culprits were.
But it was my own fault. I was expecting the bunnies not to be bunnies. How silly. That’s exactly who they have to be because that’s who God created them to be. We can’t expect others to change for us. We can pray that the Lord will touch their lives and help them to grow in faith. We can pray that the Lord will transform us all and make us more like Jesus. And we can pray that the Lord will reveal his path for each one of us and for those we love.
Sometimes we hop our way aimlessly through life as if we’re floating on an inflatable raft waiting to see where the water takes us. We can do that. It’s our choice. But what happens when we wake up one day and find that we’ve floated aimlessly through our life and it’s almost over? What do we do then?
We need to do something that bunnies can’t do. We need to surrender our lives to Jesus and ask him to be the Lord of our lives. To direct our steps. To lead us and guide us. To walk with us in this life and throughout eternity.
I’ve never met one person who’s ever said they were sorry they followed Jesus. But I’ve known countless people who’ve said they wished they’d followed him much sooner. You see, they’ve discovered the truth. There’s only one way to heaven and that’s through Jesus. “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:6).
This week as I was leaving my house for one of the last times, I saw Flippy and Floppy. As I walked to my car, they were lopsidedly running around me. They were saying good-bye. It’s hard for me to give up the house I’ve lived in for more than two decades. To say good-bye to the memories. To my favorite flowers. To Flippy and Floppy. And yet, I know that the Lord directs my steps. So I look forward to what he has in store for me because I belong to him.
“I am trusting you, O Lord. You are my God. My time is in your hands…” (Psalm 31:14-15).