This weekend, Jason & I took a nice long walk/jog along the road that leads from our island (Ocean City) to the next island (containing the towns of Strathmere & Sea Isle). Jason works in Strathmere in the summertime and wanted to check out the beach situation, since storms tend to wash part of it away in the wintertime. It’s about 2 1/2 miles from our house, so we drove part of the way, leaving about 3 or so miles for us to go on foot.
The afternoon was beautiful and sunny, although a bit windy. The marshland to the right of us stretched on for miles, and the bay to the left of us soon opened up into the wide ocean. It was gorgeous (I love living here!).
As we were heading back towards our car (still about a mile away), something on the side of the road caught my eye. It looked like a shiny pebble at first… but on closer inspection it was a BABY TURTLE!!
Seriously, this turtle was the CUTEST thing I have ever seen! About an inch long, it was soo tiny yet so spunky, as you’ll soon see….
Our running past it must have startled it, because he was scrunched up in his shell, but his little eyes were darting back and forth, perhaps wondering when it would be safe to pop back out. We backed off & watched it, wondering if it was headed back to the bay, or across the scary road to the marshland beyond. After a few moments, the baby turtle emerged from its shell & TOOK OFF for the middle of the road!
Now, let me explain something… while this road is not a highway, the cars do drive rather quickly, and a turtle of this size would never be seen by a car! This little turtle was bravely heading where he knew he needed to be… unbeknownst to any danger though. :( It made me so sad to think of how many baby turtles must die while making a trek like this!
So, we decided to save the little fella. Jason picked him up, and we carried him to his destination: the other side of the road. He still had a lot of ground to cover, but at least he’d be safe from cars! We watched for a bit because it was quite amusing and he was sooooo stinkin’ cute! He got stuck in a little patch of grass at one point, which was really cute, too (we helped him through it), then he had to face a mountain to climb (really a steep dirt incline about 6 inches high).
This tiny little turtle stretched its little neck waaaay out and strained with every fiber of its being… but made it over this hill! After that, I knew he’d be okay. This cute little turtle sure had a lot of spunk and definite perseverence… and I found it teaching me a lesson!
This turtle had a goal, and it would face any and every hardship and obstacle that got in its way. Sure, at times it would hide in its shell, but it was always on the alert, checking for danger & moving forward when the coast was clear. When the going got tough, he didn’t give up or turn back… he kept pressing forward, straining ahead because he knew something better awaited him on the other side.
I hope I can say the same for my own life! I know I have a goal (aside from Heaven), and that is to be more like Christ. Hardships and obstacles will often try to stand in the way of that relationship and squash my faith or ruin my marriage… but these are things that must be faced! Sure it’s easy to hide my “shell”, tuning out those who want to get close… but that’s not what God wants us to do! We must be on the alert, pray without ceasing, and persevere towards our goal. When the going gets tough - when our marriage seems like its failing, our kids are disobedient, or a diagnosis of a serious illness comes in - we’re not to give up our faith or turn our backs on our relationship with Christ. Those are the times to keep going! Strive for that heart like God’s, because it brings more reward than anything we can possibly hope for!
God doesn’t promise us an easy life, an easy marriage, perfect kids, or financial bliss. In fact, he tells us that in this world we WILL face trouble! But we need to be at peace, knowing that God is in control. We can face ANYTHING with Him as our guide!
God bless you, and I hope you enjoyed my learning experience this weekend. I’ll keep my eyes out for more turtles…. and my ears out for more that God wants say to me! I hope you’ll do the same - and I’d love for you to share those moments where God teaches you something profound out of something simple that has occured.
Keep on Striving,
PS - Tonite at 8 p.m. EST Jason & I are going to be doing an online, LIVE video devotional at http://NOfearYEAR.com… come check it out!