Monday, August 16, 2010
The "Rest" of the Story
by Robin Williams
Well my turtle friend has finally moved on, hopefully to a well watered place where he can quench his thirst and end the struggle I was privy to yesterday. It was almost dusk when he finally made his way around the neighbor's fence and slowly lumbered down the hill towards the cul de sac at the end of our neighborhood. But before he was out of sight, I had erected a fence of my own, feeble to say the least, but my attempt at keeping him from coming back to struggle in the brush and continue his own feeble attempts to find freedom.
This morning I awoke with thoughts of how frustrated I'd become later in the evening with my "turtle dilemma." On the phone with at least five different local agencies after lunch, I soon grew tired of the unhelpful responses and in one case outright sarcasm. The turtle's sense of entrapment soon came to be my own. I grew angry and even physically and emotionally exhausted as I sought to find a way out for one of God's creatures unwittingly trapped in my backyard for hours.
As I sipped my coffee and prepared to pray, I sensed God's voice speaking to me about my own fears. One of the agencies mentioned I'd have to pay to have the turtle removed since our county animal control could do nothing about "turtles." My insecurities began to rage as I realized I was not physically able to remove it and had no idea who would be willing to go under the deck and pull out a 20 plus pound turtle that had apparently found respite from the sun and most likely gone to sleep there. Or was he dying from thirst... As the day wore on, the mental tapes of what might happen continued to roll over in my mind.
At about dusk, after a light rain, he appeared once again in the grass and headed straight for the fence and brush where he struggled for another hour. I finally out of frustration lifted up a request to God to help him find his way out of my yard and to a water source.When he finally found his way to the fenceline and rounded its corner, I first breathed a sigh of relief, then headed to the garage for some twine. It was at this point I pulled some lattice work fencing from under the deck and secured it to my neighbor's fence to prevent the turtle from re-entering my backyard.
As I began to talk to God this morning, I heard a question arise in my heart... Was the fence to protect the turtle and keep him out of your yard or was it to protect you from your fears? Were you so afraid I wouldn't or couldn't take care of this, you used your own devices to rule out another struggle? As I spotted the dusty shell of this large reptile slowly descending the hill a few houses down, I realized the depth of my struggle. How like this turtle I continue to be as I find myself up against relational fences, trapped in my own fears, sometimes headed right back to the place I struggled last.
This morning my quickly erected fence and my repeated efforts to find help seem so foolish. How quickly nature began to take its course after the refreshing rain. The turtle came out of hiding and though it struggled to free itself from the prison of my backyard, I have to believe something inate led him to a water source and to a more natural environment where he'll find himself back at home.
As I struggle with my day to day circumstances, I continue to hear God say, "Trust in me with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In ALL your ways acknowledge me and I will direct your paths." I'm headed out to take down the fence I erected, reminded once again of God's intervention in my life. If He cares for the lilies of the field, the birds of the air and the slow and creeping reptiles... then surely He cares for us. I may be a bit slow in getting the message that I am free in Christ, but I thank God He keeps using my everyday life to tell me how much He cares for me.
"God is my shepherd!
I don't need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your Word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.....
Your trusty shepherd's crook makes me feel secure....
Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life.
I'm back home in the house of God for the rest of my life.
I can have the "rest" of my life for the "rest of my life." I get to choose.
Posted by Robin at 12:08 PM