Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? – Matthew 3:7
I have seen a lot of turtles in my day. When I was a kid, I remember catching an absolute monster while fishing with my Papa. I thought I could play with it just like a small one. My Pop proceeded to teach me just how hard the big ones can bite. Turns out, when he cleaned it, she was loaded with eggs. I took those eggs down near a stream and buried them in the sand. I checked them every day that I could. Weeks later, a ton of them had hatched and there were baby turtles everywhere. I thought that was so cool.
Earlier today, I saw what I believe was the fastest tortoise I had ever seen. He was crossing the road really fast for his kind. My wife loves the little guys. If safe to do so, she is one of the great turtle rescuers of our day. I’ve been known to rescue a few as well in her honor. I didn’t need to rescue this particular one; he was across that road in record time. It was like he understood how dangerous his situation was. I’ve seen cars crush them accidentally, and I’ve seen them crush them on purpose. The most dangerous place to be as a turtle has to be our roads.
For just a moment as I kept driving, I remembered a time that I was on the wide road that leads to destruction as mentioned in Matthew 7:13. For too many years I was way too comfortable on that road. I was like the majority of the turtles I’ve seen just thinking I could take my time without a care in the world and everything would be just fine. When God really convicted me in that little Church of God, I ran to God like my life depended on it. I imagine that I looked to God like that turtle looked to me.
In an instant, I realized that I haven’t been running the Hebrews 12:1 race very well lately. I’ve been wondering why evil has been catching up with me these past few months and it’s because I’ve been like the majority of turtles trying to get across the highway. I need to be like this last one that I saw.
And what about the other turtles? I like to think this guy right now is letting the others know, “Look, that place right there is dangerous, be careful and get the heck across that road!”
As a preacher of the word who has made it across the road, am I letting others know how dangerous this world is? Am I preaching with fervency this Gospel that can save? There is nothing more important than telling people about the Name of Jesus, for there is no other name given among men by which we all must be saved (Acts 4:2).
Who knew that God could use one exceptional turtle to wake up the spirit of one of His followers? It’s amazing all the things He says in one single snapshot of time when He chooses to do so. Meandering is not the same as walking with a purpose.
I’m reminded of the scene in Pilgrim’s Progress when Christian slept at the arbor while climbing the hill of difficulty. The arbor was intended for a quick rest, not a place to sleep.
For the first time in my life, I’m thanking God that he made turtles.
Lord, wake me up! It is so easy to get complacent on this planet, especially in America. It is so easy to care about anything and everything but you! Help me to spiritually be like that turtle and walk towards you with a purpose. This world is dangerous. Comfort is dangerous. It is so easy to get comfortable here and not even think about you! I love you, Lord. Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord, to the cross where thou hast died. Help me. Fill me. Our time here is so short.