OK, I have always been involved in my little personal attempts at animal rescue, but the number of turtles I have rescued this spring is getting ridiculous. What gives? Forget the chickens....why do turtles cross the road?
On some level they have to know it is a kamikaze mission. Surely they must sense the pulverized remains of their brethren telling them they might have a chance with a VW bug but NO ONE'S shell can survive an SUV. I saw some hot-rodder teens yesterday gunning through the adjoining neighborhood. Two boys. Then I saw the closed up turtle shell in the middle of the road. I was certain two wild teen boys would not have been able to resist the lure of a turtle on their racetrack. I walked over to the shell with trepidation, imagining blood and broken turtle fragments. However, he was ok. He peeked out at me. I picked the frightened turtle up and tried to talk some sense into him.
"Look Pal, I know that shell seems impenetrable, but you do not know the power of the enemy. You are not invincible and it is foolish to think you are. Remember the Titanic? And another thing. Why are you leaving that lush vegetation and ready water source of that lovely lake to cross over to suburbia? What possible allure could a chemical laden lawn and raised ranch have for you?"
The turtle blinked at me with wide eyed innocence and kept his legs and neck squished tightly into his shell. At least he didn't close the shell up, which frankly would have made me laugh. I love it that even the turtles know how to slam a door disrespectfully in my face.
"So I am setting you here, on the right path. You follow this down that little hillock and you will hit the creek. Notice all the bugs and grass along the way? That is what turtles eat. This is the ideal turtle world. You don't ever need to go the other way.Don't cross that road again. It is purely by the grace of God that those wild boys didn't run over you."
I placed him on the path, and gave him a little nudge in the direction he should go. Then I continued on my way and gasped as I almost stepped on a turtle carcass. I shuddered with revulsion and despair. That one was past saving.
I am working through the book of Isaiah, one of my favorite books in the Bible. Yesterday I came upon one of my favorite verses:
This is the way; walk in it. (Isaiah 30:21)
God is right there, picking me off of the dangerous road, steering me to the source of all life and delight...and yet, how many times do I ignore his direction and go my own way? Go the way that at the time seems better, unable to resist the allure, though God's voice grows faint along that ill-begotten path? And then when dangers come, I crawl into a shell that will never be able to protect me from destruction and lie helplessly exposed to the driving onslaught of an enemy that can crush everything in its path. It just makes so much more sense to heed God's nudges in the proper direction. Why do the turtle and I so often insist on crossing the forbidden road?
Isaiah 30: 18-21
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him! People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."
-save a dog- hollowcreekfarm.org