Aug 17, 2019

The Turtle

Yesterday on the way to work, I saw something in the road ahead. As I got closer, I realized it was a small turtle - right in the middle of my lane. I easily drove by without hitting it.

I hesitated a bit, I had plenty of road and time to safely stop and get it right then. 

"No, it will be fine."

"I should go back and get it off the road."

"No, it'll be fine, I need to get to work."


"OK, I'm going back."

Less than 1/4 mile away at this point, I slammed on the brakes so I wouldn't miss the next driveway, and pulled in to turn around. 

A car went by.

I drove back and noticed as I passed the turtle that it hadn't moved from where I last saw it. Something didn't look quite right. I pulled into a side road and jogged back to pick it up.

The scene was not pretty. Cracked shell, stillness, no sign of the head.

I gently picked it up and put it on the side of the road. I prayed for God to heal it or quickly take it out of its pain.

If only I had stopped...

How many times do I wonder what would have happened if only I acted the moment I had the thought.

  • If only I had talked to that person in the store who looked sad...before they walked out.
  • If only I had asked the waitress if I could pray last time she was at our table...not knowing she would not be back by.
  • If only I hadn't missed that brief window of opportunity to...

I remembered hearing a similar message about football. On a running play, the front line surges forward the instant the ball is snapped to make an opening in the line for the running back. If the runner hesitates even for a second, the opening closes up and the defense swarms around him. Tackle, no gain on the play.

God makes openings for us every day. We don't always have time to pray about it, think about it, or talk to someone about it.

We need to just do it - respond immediately when God nudges us. He places people in our path who need His love, truth, and peace in a world that is increasingly hostile toward Him and His son Jesus. Each time we respond in obedience, God's message of hope is advanced and the enemy loses ground.

Be on the lookout for turtles today. You never know what can happen if you take the time to stop...or what opportunities you miss when you wait too long to turn around.

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16, NIV)

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