For years I’ve wondered why I have such a kinship with turtles. Sure, as an introvert, sometimes I can duck my head inside my shell withdrawing from the world when I sense danger and then stay hidden until I think it has passed. Then I tentatively peer out of my shell, ready to retreat at a moment’s notice. But last Tuesday as I eyed my little reptile friend placidly swimming through calm waters, I noted another of his qualities. Turtles know how to persevere. They may be slow and their wrinkled faces resemble the dried-apple dolls you make as an elementary school craft project. But despite their seeming weaknesses, they keep trudging along. I always thought they were fearful creatures, but they trek out into the middle of roads oblivious to oncoming traffic. And they keep on sticking their necks out time and time again no matter what giant speeding SUV comes barreling down on them.Turtles remind me of the men in the parables of Matt. 13:44-46. Stay with me here. Turtles risk it all to get what they want even if that’s only traveling from point A to point B. The men in the parable risk all financially in an effort to gain the kingdom of heaven.
So what others may see as recklessness, I prefer to see as deliberate risk-taking and perseverance. And risk-taking and perseverance are two lessons God has been trying to teach me this year. When you really examine faith, it’s a risky proposition to follow a God you cannot see or touch and trust His words are true in a world saturated with lies and half-truths. Faith demands we risk it all and then persevere in our walk with God despite obstacles and opposition.