Next morning. The phone rings. It’s Derek. “Hey man our patient recovered. That turtle is not even close to death. In fact it is alive and hissing in my truck. I’m going to need some help getting it out of my truck.” Oh the places I could go with this story. The obvious is that there are things in life that are very easy to put in the truck bed; but may not be that easy to get out. Be careful what you put in your truck bed. (But hey that’s too obvious. Part of the fun is to try and see where this is going.)
The turtle was very much alive. It would loose an eye after being hit by the automobile that stunned it; but it would live. It would live and gladly bite the digits off your hand. We had very little trouble getting the tired, angry reptile into the water. Turtles are not great land predators unless of course they are teenaged, mutant and ninja. Two grown men against one turtle in the bed of pickup was not a great challenge. Once we got it to the Flint River and into the water a transformation took place. The sluggish, lumbering animal became almost graceful in the water. It’s hide and shell took on a look that blended perfectly with the environment. It stuck its nose out of the water and glided silently toward us. You could not have paid me to get in the water with the turtle. In it’s element it would be a force to reckon with. I have no doubt that huge river turtles are the apex predators in most streams and ponds.
Take anything out of its element and you can beat it. A turtle can stay on land for short periods of time. It can survive but not thrive. The same is true for us. Oh we get into situations and force ourselves to adapt. We lumber and hiss and snap at people. It may just be that we are not in our element. If you find yourself too tired, too dry, too snappy unable to recover from your “wounds”- it might do you some good to re-evaluate where you are. Have you moved too far away from where you should be? Not “should” and “ought” in the sense of guilt but simply should and ought in the sense that our Maker designed us to thrive in a particular setting. " Fear God and keep His commands" is how Solomon described our element. "Transformed not conformed" is what Paul said. Jesus said we were to be salt and light. Servants, selfless, living stones, royal priests, holy nation, temples. You decide whether you are in the water or out.