I’m not sure why, but this last weekend when I was down at the ocean, I saw a little decor turtle and felt I was supposed to get it and bring it home with me. I am a very visual person and so I have many things that I keep around me on my desk and in my office that are reminders to me of how I should live and think regarding my daily life. Here are a few thoughts that came to mind as I wondered about the reasoning behind making that purchase. You can google many ideas about lessons from a turtle, and some of them will be a part of why God may have laid that on my heart.
- 1. Turtles may be slow but they will get where they are going.
We all know the story of the tortoise and the hare. We know that lesson! We may know it by heart. But, we sure forget it quickly when it is something we want. All living things have a time of growth. A tree doesn’t just become a tree. It takes a long time to get tall and sturdy. So it is with us. We are and should be constantly growing. How fast is not as important as taking a steady pace, and we keep at it.
- 2. They are very determined.
When baby turtles are born, they go by instinct to the nearest water. They face all kind of challenges to get there, but they are determined to go through the scary trials to make it. Sand may be hard for them to get over because even the smallest hill of sand presents a challenge to them as tiny creatures. They may be eagle food, but they instinctively have that determination and drive to get where they are going. They don’t give up at the first sign of challenge; even at that young age.
- 3. They have been called a symbol of peace.
I would guess this reasoning has to do with the quiet, but sure way of living. If you watch a turtle, they are very observant. They watch you carefully and they are aware of what is around them This reminds us to slow down our pace in life and look around. Enjoy what we see as we go. Hurry is not peaceful but slowing down is, or can be.
- 4. If there is something they are having difficulty with, they will focus on that issue until they can figure out what to do.
As a child, my cousin had a turtle and that turtle was older than me by several years at that time, and they still had him long after I became an adult, married and had children. Amazing! One time I watched that turtle struggle with a stick that had been put in the wrong way, and now was in its way and messing with his environment. Oh how he would struggle to right that stick so it would be in the correct place. He didn’t give up until it was moved correctly to his liking.
- 5. They must stick their neck out if they want to get somewhere.
That’s right! If we want to grow, we have to stick our neck out and try something new or different. We have to put ourselves out there! But many times, we may be like the turtle in fear, and pull our necks back in, and in our case, tuck and curl in defeat. However, if we want growth in our life, and a better relationship with those around us, we have to stick our neck out there!
- 6. If you were to pick a turtle up that is going on one direction, and you turned it around to the opposite direction, they will turn around in their shell so they can keep going in the same direction they were headed.
What does that tell us? That turtle knows its direction; it has an inner sense of direction. No matter which way it is turned, it knows the path it needs to take. We need to have our compass to true north; that is, to the direction of God and His promises. We want to “know” in our hearts and mind what direction that is. And if we are truly in tune with God, just the like the turtle, we can always know which way is the right way to go. U-turns are awesome, aren’t they?!?
So, I brought that little turtle home with me to have on my desk, so that I too, can remember the message of the turtle and the reasons why God may have put that on my heart. I hope you will remember the lessons of a turtle and let it be a life lesson for you as it was for me! God is good to teach us in big and small ways if we are tune, and listen to Him, and respond.
To life at a turtle pace…slow and sure…walking the journey with you…