Wednesday, January 18, 2012

we are like loggerhead turtles

N. and I love to watch documentaries. I have never been so moved by any genre of film so much as I have by documentaries. My very favorite is a documentary called Iditarod: The Toughest Race on Earth. I watched it months and months ago, and I still think about it every day. The way that the Lord has His fingerprints on nature always makes me feel so small and reverent. I have since studied the mushers and dogs so intensely that I could tell you the winners (along with most of their times) for the past ten years.

I’m getting distracted, though:

We watched a documentary a few nights ago about the loggerhead turtle called Turtle: An Incredible Journey. Well, I watched it. N. fell asleep within nineteen minutes. He can fall asleep anywhere—he was sitting straight up with my feet jammed in his side (I didn’t know I was doing that). I was glued.

These little turtles are amazing. They’re only the size of my fist when they scuttle into the water after they’re hatched. They hop onto the Gulf Stream’s current and hang out near a raft of floating dead reef, so that they have snacks and friends to hang out with along the way (my verbiage, not the narrator’s). They don’t have much steering control since they have no fins, so sometimes they get carried off by an eddy. They can get thousands of miles off “course” sometimes. They can end up near Nova Scotia or Africa or they can even get plopped into a stagnant sea for months with polluted waters.

But they’re never scared. Turtles always know exactly where they are and exactly where they’re going. Getting dragged out of the steady stream is natural. They know how to hop back on when they need to.

This deeply moved me. It’s an echo of the way the Spirit works in us.

I can recall so many times when I’ve encountered my own eddy. I’ve flailed about in water and found myself in plenty of stagnant, craptastic places.

I remember driving on I-81 when I was in college. I remember having to pull off at a gas station to fill my tank, and I was crying…bawling, surrounded by truckers with Subway sandwiches in hand. I had found myself in a heap of nasty consequences. It was ugly. I was a wreck. My very own stagnant sea. As I pulled back onto the interstate, I remember asking God what I was supposed to do how I was supposed to get out. I wanted an audible answer. I wanted a text message to pop up on my phone.

I didn’t get either. I got silence. Silence and a gut feeling—“You know what is right. Keep doing that.”

I wanted more—a light show or a parted sea. But God had already given me His Spirit to guide me, and I knew how to get back all along. He didn’t answer me because He didn’t need to—He already had.

How has God guided you without you realizing it? Aren’t we so very much like turtles?



1 comment:

  1. This is a good analogy, friend. I like how silence might actually be the Spirit talking to us. Just as darkness might actually be God covering us.