Taking a closer look at God's gifts...

Monday, May 18, 2015

It's all in how you look at it...

There are days I feel insignificant and without any real worth. Yes, I can still draw breath and I suppose if I can do that much, I can do more--like walk and talk and eat and work and play. Still, even though I'm blessed to be able to do all that, I feel afloat, disinterested, pitiful, and not anchored to any person or any purpose. I'm adrift, alone and without purpose.

Or do I just think I am?

On a walk down the nature trail at the Discovery Center at Murfree Spring in Murfreesboro, Tennesse, I noticed this little guy swimming his teensy-weensy turtle heart out in the mud and muck of a pollen-encrusted pond. He couldn't have been two inches long from the tip of his nose to the end of his pointy little tail.

This little guy loves his life and makes the most of it despite
his less than ideal surroundings. Too bad I can't say the same about
myself some of the time. Lord, forgive me. 
Now there, I thought to myself, is someone who truly is insignificant. I stopped to watch him for a while and noticed something strange. He didn't act insignificant. Even though he puddled around in murky water laden with twigs, dead leaves, and other detritus of winter past and early spring, he acted as though he owned the place. He swam with purpose (at least to my eyes), and did his best (or her best--hard to tell) to climb rocks or logs that got in his way. If he couldn't do it on the first attempt, he tried until he made it. I detected no whining, no complaining, and no self-pity. (Of course, I'm not familiar with what whining, complaining or self-pity looks like in a turtle, but I'm going to give this little guy the benefit of the doubt.) Despite his size and, I suppose, relative youth, he made the most of what his life consisted of--greenish water, obstacles he had to climb over or scramble up to enjoy, a hard shell on his back, and scrawny little legs. Not much to work with to make a wonderful life, is it?

To us, I suppose it wouldn't be. But to him, it's the life he's been given and he seems to be very content with it. I wondered if he ever dreamed of a clear pond, a ramp up to his sunning perch, food that wasn't waterlogged or from the insect world. Maybe, but somehow I doubt it. I think he accepted what he had and enjoyed it to the best of his ability.

I think I should do that more often. I've been given far, far more than so many people on this earth. I live in the best country the world has ever known where I'm free to worship my God without worrying about being ambushed, beheaded, or otherwise persecuted. I have plenty of food and fresh water, a clean and safe home, decent clothes, transportation, good medical care, a loving extended family, the sun in the daytime, and the moon and stars at night.

I might feel alone, but that's because I allow myself to feel that way. Next time I do, I'm going to think about this little turtle and be glad I don't live in a pollen-, bug-, leaf-filled pond of green water with worms for dinner.

See you along the trail...

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