Wednesday was an exciting day at the parsonage! A turtle wandered into the yard where she proceeded to dig a nest, lay her eggs and wander back into the woods with her job for the day well done.
It was her lucky day, too — or at least the lucky day of her hatchlings because Joshua Lane made a protective screen to keep out the predators that might have interfered with the nest!
Naturally I had to check out what the Bible says about turtles. In Leviticus 11:29 some translations refer to “the tortoise after his kind” while others simply say “any kind of large lizard” in the list of “swarming things on the earth” that are considered unclean. There doesn’t seem to be anything of great spiritual or theological interest about the turtle.
Still, the turtle has its value in symbolic representation through the ages. Turtles live a long time (up to 188 years) and they are slow and careful. Stories portray the turtle as a character who is wise and careful and is often the wise guru who will help the searcher stop and think before determining a course of action.
It’s a good thing to have people in our lives who help us stop and think. Those who ask us questions and help us consider the truly wise course of action.
And it’s good to have “turtle moments.” I like to think of prayer as “turtle moments” — a time to move slowly and carefully according to the movement of the Spirit. Time to reflect on the right way to nurture the young. Time to be proud of accomplishments and consider the ‘holy moments’ of your day. Time to listen and take to heart the wise counsel of the Lord.
May you have some good ‘turtle moments” this week!