Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Taming Turtles

If you've been around here for a while, you might remember this photo, taken about half an hour from our home.

This little turtle was in the middle of a dirt road, with his head stuck right out. He wasnt very happy at all when we stopped to help him off the road and was looking like he might bite me if I picked him up.

So I took this photo as a momento and we drove around him, hoping that not too many other cars would come along the dirt road before he decided to move off.

But I've always wondered what would have happened if I had have picked him up. What did I miss out on because of my fear? It would have required a lot of courage, as he looked pretty scary, but what exhiliration and accomplishment to master the evil turtle. Ok it might not have been that amazing, but I always wondered. And I made a little pact with my son. Next time we see a turtle, I'm picking it up.

What's the worst that could happen - it would be a great story in the ER as I got my stitches ;) I want to be ready.

In Paul's letter to Titus he encourages him to "Remind the people to respect the government and be law-abiding, always ready to lend a helping hand. No insults, no fights. God's people should be bighearted and courteous." I want to be ready to do good. I want to be big-hearted, prepared to go out of my way to help others (not just turtles).

Occasionally in the car Josh will remember the turtle and we will chat about it. And I always say - next time we see a turtle, I'm going to pick it up! We need to be having chats about those other things in the car too - respecting the government, obeying the law, helping others, not insulting or fighting, and being ready to help others. Then when those opportunities come up, we are ready in mind and body to take up that opportunity and make a difference in the world.

Last week, I had one of those opportunities. I grabbed the turtle by the shell and changed his little world.

My kids were amazed when I stopped on the busy road, ran out and picked this little fellow up. We drove him to a nearby waterway and watched as he scooted off into the water. It felt so good to finally make up for not being big-hearted that first time.

I hope to have more of those conversations from now on. And with those things in the back of our minds, I pray that next time an opportunity pops up to do good, that my kids will jump at the chance.

We made the world of difference to this turtle, and God might have some world-changing assignments in store for you soon. If you have missed some of those in the past, dont let it discourage you, be even more determined to take up the next opportunity.

This turtle sure appreciated it, and I think this time he really is smiling for the camera!

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Monica said...

I love this story. I'm so glad you posted about it to share with the world. To be a role model for your kids and to live bigger and to the fullest. And to grab those oppuurtunities we have to help others.
i love this turtle story, and i love that it is so visual for me to remember.
not to live in fear. But to make that leap of faith!
thanks again,

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