Turtle Chronicles

I received a new laptop at my place of employment a couple of months ago. One accessory that I’d become accustomed and dependent upon is the cd/dvd player. However, with the replacement, I found myself without the accessory. I was provided an external cd/dvd player to connect to my laptop. Sweet! I was back in business, listening to my music as I went about my daily tasks. On my desk, there is a porcelain turtle that one of my former students, whom affectionately calls me “mom” gave to me as a result of her travels. I enjoy looking at it and more importantly reminiscing on the beautiful journey that she is taking. As me and my colleagues prepared our office which floods for the hurricane, I moved many things off of my desk, away from the window. When I returned to the office and began to reconfigure my belongings, I positioned my turtle to a different space on my desk. I really liked it better in its new location and wondered why I was just reaching that revelation. A week passed and suddenly when I elected to burn a cd, I was unable to open the device because the turtle was an obstacle to performing the task. I was forced to move and change the turtle back to the original location in order to burn the cd. How often are we frustrated with God for moving something or someone without our consent? How often are we disappointed with the manner by which God enacts change? How might we instead consider that the change was for a purpose perhaps unbeknownst to us?

We have entered the last quarter of the year. Perhaps you’ve been bombarded and inundated with change. Change you initiated or change you came to know on the receiving end of someone else’s decision-making. As long as we abide in the earth, we are bound to experience change, but the one constant that we can hold fast to is Malachi 3:6, which reads, “For I am the Lord, I change not.” In a world which changes by the moment, or tweet, we can rest in the assurance that Jesus the Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Perhaps you are like me and you can accept God not changing, but would prefer if He would do a check in with you before disrupting your perceived peace. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but He just doesn’t rock like that. Coupled with His promise to be consistently faithful to His character is His sovereignty in deeming whatever He will so that He gets full glory out of our lives. I assume God gets tickled at the fact of how much we resist change, and yet we can enact change (hence my turtle) and expect Him to bless it. Lord help your children!

As I pondered more about the turtle I thought about the lessons it may teach us about our relationship in God. Turtles are not known for their speed; neither do we think that God moves fast enough when something changes in our lives. Turtles are adaptable, they live at sea and on land. If we are to walk out this journey, we must demonstrate flexibility with people and situations, otherwise, we will walk in persistent frustration. Turtles have a shell for protection. Where do we seek our shelter? Furthermore, it’s shell is always present. We must resist the tendency to seek God only in times of trouble. We must develop a practice to reside in Him. Finally, a turtle’s head can only stretch so far outside of its shell. We mustn’t allow ourselves to go but so far away from His presence, His protection, His divinity. The year is not yet over, so that means God may move something else. Not to worry. Slow and steady wins the race.

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