Winston the Turtle Knows Jesus

This morning a turtle decided to cross the road. Not a chicken, mind you, but a turtle. I swerved to miss him. Ten minutes later, I drove back through that area of town and there he was, maybe eight inches from where I last saw him. His head poked out from a mottled
shell with confidence, and I’m sure he remained oblivious to the peril of passing cars.

As I looked in my rearview mirror, a truck sped up behind me, and I glanced at the turtle and wondered if he’d seen his last ray of sunshine. Then I laughed at feeling such compassion for a turtle. He is God’s creature, but I have no real vested interest in small reptilian shell huggers. But I couldn’t stop thinking about him.

What jumped into my thoughts at that moment? I wondered, “What would I be thinking if I were that turtle?” He has no clue that Michelin and Goodyear are destined to crush his turtle dreams. I stared at him until the horizon took him from my view. The road looked so big compared to that little guy.

Why doesn’t he hurry? If I were the turtle, I’d be chanting, “I think I can. I think I can.” I’d reach forward with every turtle muscle I could find and make a run for the finish line. Green grass, delicious ditch water, and safety waited only yards away. But he continued
to crawl at a snail’s pace, his neck stretched heavenward, and arms thrown out with abandon in the sunshine. I could almost see peace in his beady little eyes.

Let’s call him Winston.  I believe Winston knows Jesus. Somewhere
inside that turtle head he has to know that his death is imminent, and the circumstances have great potential for a sad and tragic display of horror. Yet he smiles and moves onward, one step at a time.

I think we all get the point here. Our own death is imminent and tragedy follows us from birth to the end. There is no way of knowing if our dreams will ever pan out or if we’ll ever know the peace and safety of long life with great friends and family. Sometimes even realized dreams turn into difficult days. Children are a gift but the monotonous days of home life leave us aching for action and meaning. Work we love can turn into a fight for the top or drudgery to endure. The road ahead looks long and dangerous.

Let’s look back at Winston through our rear view mirror. He takes one step at a time with the understanding that our Creator sees the pickup trucks and predators. Oversimplifying life’s disasters and disappointments is not the intention here, but a little encouragement from Winston can help right now seem a little bit brighter. With a spark of bright, we can ask our Creator…for warm sunshine, for a red cardinal on the fence post, for strength, for another step, for a smile, for a friend, for energy to reach out, for a glimpse of what waits on the other side to fill our right nows and every days. I believe Winston knows Jesus.

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