On our walk this morning, Gatlin and I happened upon a turtle. We live right next to a small pond, and this turtle had wandered onto the surrounding path. More on this later.
Now let me back track. Just prior to this sighting, I had been deep in thought/prayer. Trying to refocus, reset… or even just find the tiniest bit of affirmation that I’m doing the right thing. Generally, when I feel higher than normal levels of unexplained anxiety, I take this as a “sign” that I’m on the wrong track. I don’t always think this is so, as I also believe that the enemy uses anxiety to cast doubt into areas of your life where you are learning to close him out. Regardless, I have felt farther from Jesus that normal lately. Perhaps it started with this blog. The very thing I created in order to press in to the Father. Ironic.
Now lets go back to the turtle. I noticed he was moving unusually fast for a turtle. He also didn’t retreat into his shell when we closed in on him. He didn’t appear the slightest bit phased. Just kept on his journey. I admired that determination, but here’s the thing: he was going the wrong way. He was chugging along in the opposite direction of the pond. I’m not sure if he knew this, but I have to figure he didn’t. And that got me thinking. Sometimes we get so excited about our own plans, our own visions for making waves and leaving our mark on this Earth. That desire for affirmation is so blinding, that we just start blindly running after that dream. Running in the wrong direction. Empowered even further when people take notice, or even follow along.
All that little guy needed was for someone like myself, who could see further than he could, to turn him around. To just pick him up and gently change his course. And maybe I’m hoping for that too. (Edit: I didn’t pick him up. Because I have OCD. OCD doesn’t like turtles or their turtle germs. And I didn’t have any more hand sanitizer.)
Bob Goff is one of my favorite writers of all times. If you haven’t heard of him, do yourself a favor, and go to Amazon right now. I will even link his books for you at the bottom of this post. He’s that good. His most recent book, Everybody Always, is currently the force I needed to turn me back to the pond. I am convicted right now to tell you that I took this blog and I ran with it. I took the little I know about my Savior, my desire to know more, and my selfish ambition to be known, and I tried to skip a few steps. A lot of steps.
At one point in Bob’s book, he talks about faking it. Here’s the part that punched me right in the gut. Hard.
“We all have this idea of who we want to be, so while we’re getting there, it’s easy to pretend we’re older or smarter or even believe in God more than we actually do. The longer we’ve been doing it, the better we get at it, or so it seems. God, of course, sees right through it, and quite often the people around us do too. The sad fact is, we’re usually the only ones getting fooled.”
Ouch. If I was praying for a refocus, this was more like a factory reset. So very true, that I am taken aback. Bob Goff’s words spun me back to the pond so violently, that I’m still frozen in place. Getting my bearings, looking for the strength to begin again.
With that being said, I think I’m going to humbly take a step backwards in promoting my blog. I need to go back to those skipped steps, to growing my faith before my followers. Writing is so incredibly therapeutic for me that I don’t think its wrong to pursue it… just maybe misguided. I don’t want to force this beautiful outlet into a job, just a journal full of God’s grace for now. Anything after that is just extra.