Saturday, May 15, 2010

Chasing Turtles


The turtles did not have a restful day yesterday. Neither did the geese. Matt is like a Border Collie- he likes to herd.
We took Matt and Karissa kayaking in the new inflatable kayaks. We went to a small lake as it was Karissa's first time kayaking and we wanted her to live because we really like her.

While I taught Karissa some basics, Matt took off in his floating turtle hunter and immediately began sighting and stalking turtles. The poor turtles know that midweek, no one comes to the little lake and they can usually bask on the logs lining the shore undisturbed. When we arrived, their holiday was over. Every time Matt spotted a turtle, he would paddle steathily towards it, and then glide silently. The turtle always spotted him, however, and plopped into the water, leaving only swirling circles of waves.

And then he saw geese floating placidly nearby and enlisted all of us to try and catch the geese. We came within a few feet and then they flew away. But Matt has a kind soul and it was just the chase that enchanted him. He had no real desire to capture them. The few times he hooked a fish when we used to go fishing, he would watch with anguish as I removed the hook to set the fish free. We always filed the barb so that the fish would never be hurt.

When the geese flew away and we all bobbed in the water watching them against the blue sky, Matt told us about someone he knew who caught a goose once and broke its neck. I don't think the young man meant to, but his rough play led to that result. So he left the goose by the side of the path. Every day he had to walk by that dead goose on the way to and from class as it slowly rotted away. Every day, he was reminded of the consequences of his careless disregard.

I think maybe that is not too far off from what God sees. He sees our paths, and He sees the consequences of our careless disregard scattered in our wake. It doesn't matter if we do it with malice aforethought, or not. The result is the same. An angry word that pumps poison long after it has been spoken.... or words of love that should have been spoken but never fall on straining ears. Pride that pushes others aside. Living for self while loved ones languish. The list is long.

It is as impossible for me to catch a sinless day, maybe even a sinless hour as it was for Matt to catch a turtle. I close in on it sometimes, but it always slips away. I have heard many times "Only losers seek God" , and I think that is true. But winners find Him. And He doesn't try to escape.

Philippians 3:7-9 (New International Version)

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.

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