Turtles and failure…..

Like I said in my previous post, life has been happening to the detriment of blog postings. However, I experienced a metaphor today I would like to share.

If you are a regular reader, you know about my mission to be a “disciple of example” and my intent to follow the greatest commandments.

Matthew 22:37-40 — Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

My job as a disciple is to “go out and be fishers of men”. I should share the good news of Christ dieing for our sins with others that I know and those I don’t know. And while I do that somewhere between occasionally and often, I do not do it enough — especially since it is so important. We’re talking eternal life here. The metaphor today made the point that I — #1) do not do it often enough and miss some people and #2) time is of the essence in some cases. (See a previous post on you may be the only Bible some people read.)

On the way to church today, we had an enjoyable drive through the country. The weather forecast was rain but most of it came through last night and it looked like we had half a chance of a decent day in front of us. We were on time and had no reason to rush (unlike some Sunday mornings). We were meandering through one of the familiar country two lane roads in an area that is more heavily wooded with shade and moisture. As I drove the truck along the tight road, I noticed a bump in the middle of the road — in fact, right on the double yellow stripe. I jogged the truck to the right to make sure I wouldn’t hit whatever it was with the left side tires. As we passed it, I noticed that it was a small box turtle trying to make his was across the road (playing a slow game of “Frogger”). By the time I felt the impulse to pull over to pick him up and usher him to safety, we were farther up the hill and I justified the inaction on my part.

We turned a corner and lo and behold there was another shelled creature in the road, but this one was in a much more hazardous position right in the middle of my lane. I had looked behind me after I passed the other turtle (hoping there was another car behind me to add to my inaction justification) but there wasn’t a vehicle to be seen. So I quickly stopped my wife’s truck, hopped out, picked the little guy up and set him on the side of the road pointed away so he could continue his journey.

I felt good about at least getting that one to safety if at least I couldn’t get them all. Again, more justification.

Fast forward to a really nice service where 10 young confirmands were publicly affirming their baptism and joining the congregation as young adult members. I sponsored one of them (please say a prayer for Collin) and my oldest daughter sponsored another. We are a part of the church’s mentor program for the confirmation students to give them additional resources in their spiritual journey.

I wasn’t thinking about turtles on the way home until I turned that corner and wondered if he had made it across — hopefully not needing my help like the other one did. I was very disappointed and sad to see that half his little shell had been crushed and there was a splattering of blood.

Now while some of you might just say that “it is just a little turtle” or “you can’t save all of the creatures”, I agree with you and you are right (although, go read my “Starfish” post). The metaphor is that a living thing needed my help and I chose not to act. And because time was working against the matter, that living thing did not survive. How often does that happen to things on a bigger scale? To people we see every day? To those who matter around us? On a physical or emotional level? On a spiritual level? All I can say is that I am determined to try harder…..for turtles and people around me.

Forgive me Lord, for passing by opportunities you have given me to share your good news and blessings.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net