Anyway, I read a cool passage of a book I'm currently going through with my Bible study group, and thought I'd reflect on it a bit here. The book is Dangerous Wonder by Mike Yaconelli. In this passage, he recalls a story about a woman on holiday on one of the barrier islands of South Carolina, at a time of year when loggerhead turtles were laying their eggs.
One morning the woman came across the tracks of a female turtle going in the wrong direction, as she had apparently lost her sense of direction and had wandered into the hot dunes, where she would certainly die without help. The woman notified a park ranger, who arrived on the scene in a jeep. The next scene sounds rather alarming, as the ranger
"flipped the turtle over, wrapped chains around her front legs, and hooked the chains to the trailer hitch on the jeep. Then he drove off, dragging her through the sand so fast her mouth filled with sand and her head bent back as if it would break. At the edge of the ocean, he unhooked her and flipped her right side up."The turtle gradually began to move, and eventually pushed herself off into the ocean.
Yaconelli quotes the woman's reaction:
"Watching her swim slowly away and remembering her nightmare ride through the dunes, I noticed that sometimes it is hard to tell whether you are being killed or being saved by the hands that turn your life upside down."
The author argues that the fear that this turtle experienced was "life-saving fear" , the kind that comes when we offer our lives to Jesus. Her only choice was to hang on. Taking this passage out of its religious context for a moment, I began to think back on a lot of the crap I've experienced in the past few years, and I wonder if the pain and discomfort I may experience in the present is me on a journey toward something better. As I've learned over and over, painful experiences are a part of growth, and I often come out of them all the wiser, kinder, etc. Maybe, like the turtle, I got going in the wrong direction, and it required a difficult transition to get me turned around. It's hard to say exactly what will be the result of this journey I'm currently on, but I know the One whom I've put my trust in, and try to hope that sometime down the line things will fall into place.