One Turtle Moment in Time
It happened on the way to church early one Sunday morning. I was driving the car down a parkway close to our home, and I noticed a large turtle crossing the road. I commented to my husband that he must be 20 years old . . I had never seen such a big turtle! He was happily lumbering from one side of the road to the other as if he knew exactly where he was going and I made a large half-circle around him to make sure he had plenty of room.
It instantly occurred to me that not everyone would make the same effort to avoid hitting the turtle, and I told my husband I thought we needed to turn around and perform a rescue mission! I looked at my watch and saw that we were running close on time and hesitated past the first turn-around. Tom then encouraged me to take advantage of the next one so I made a U-turn and drove back to the place where we saw the turtle.
The whole scenario took about three to four minutes. I pulled over into the turn lane closest to where the turtle sat in the middle of the road and got out of the car. As I came closer, I could see that I was too late. The shell was cracked open and blood spilled out all over the road. I had been too late! In this case, three minutes was too long, and this magnificent creature was gone forever.
I learned a big lesson that day. NOW is all we have to make a difference. Not three minutes from now, or tomorrow or next week. This moment is all we have! I believe with all my heart that I COULD have saved that turtle if I had only acted immediately. But I’m so used to filtering everything that I was weighing the pros and cons of stopping immediately. Would this make me late to Sunday School, would I soil my clothes when I picked up the turtle, would people think I was crazy as I stopped traffic . . . all of those things were buzzing through my mind while I hesitated, and it was during that hesitation the turtle was crushed into the pavement!
How many times do we do the same thing with people. We see someone who is obviously desperate for help. Maybe they (like the turtle) don’t have a clue that they are in grave danger, but YOU can see the handwriting on the wall. Maybe it is a teenager who is hanging out with the wrong crowd. Maybe it is your next door neighbor who drinks and drives. Maybe it is a brother or a sister in your family who does not know Christ. You know what’s in their future as it now stands . . . but you hesitate to say anything because you don’t want them to think you are a religious nut or a Jesus freak. Then one day it’s all over. They are gone, and you would give anything to have one more chance to talk to them about their salvation . . . but it’s too late.
I’m convinced that God lives in the past, present, and future, but he works in and through US right now. The present is all we have to make a difference. That means you put your “filter” aside and listen to your heart. Right now. This moment - What is it you need to do to make a difference for Christ? Whatever it is . . . just DO it!
By Dianne Luce