While travelling last week, on two separate occasions, I observed a turtle slowly creeping across a road. Both times the same thing happened. When the turtle saw my car approaching each quickly withdrew into his shell. These incidents were a parable of truth to me. What did I learn?
The first lesson, you have to give the turtles credit for venturing to cross the road. They saw something worth pursuing across the road. There is an old saying “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” Am I venturing out and testing new terrain? We will never accomplish anything if we do not venture out.
A second lesson was somewhat humorous. Two turtles are strolling across the road. They realize danger is pressing in on them. They cannot run away so they withdraw to the security of their shell. Even though they felt secure in their shell, the truth is, the shell offered no security. Those turtles did not escape the danger. They escaped to the perceived security of the shell. However, the threat was still present. We may do the same thing. We withdraw when we perceive danger is present. We subconsciously convince ourselves that we have escaped the danger, only to emerge with the danger still present.
A third lesson grows out of the second. When we withdraw we are not solving the problem, we are merely avoiding it. When we come back it will still be there. Obviously a turtle cannot reason or negotiate when it finds itself in dangerous circumstances. However, God has given us the ability to communicate, speak truth, and discuss issues with other people. We must be careful that we are not retreating and merely hiding our problems. Such avoidance often leads to depression and hidden emotions.