It’s a God Thing…and I’m a Turtle
The sun wasn’t even up yet—though the deepening pink on the tall white clouds announced its arrival—and my Fitbit had just buzzed my 10,000th step. I’d already said “Good Morning” to the usual dozen or so joggers and runners I see on my morning miles when I stopped at a little bridge to take in the smooth reflective waters of a lake. An old woman in bright pink jogged toward me and as I said “Hello,” I noticed what looked like an oversized potato in the middle of the road beside us. We looked at each other and then the potato and, at about the same time, we both realized that is wasn’t a potato at all.
A small turtle crossing the road from one side of the bridge to the other, leaving one side of the lake for the other.
I could hear an oncoming car in the distance. That little turtle might have spent the entire night to make it all that way from the lake to the middle of the road…but he was about to become a bump in the rut he was trapped in. I had just enough time to pick him up, tumble him on to the roadside and dash back to the jogging path before the headlights bisected the road. The jogger in pink and I watched for a few moments as the turtle stayed quiet and then, finally, started to crawl toward the lake.
I’m like that little turtle, I realized. Occasionally picked up by some greater power and tumbled to an entirely new and unexpected place, even after I had worked so hard to get to the dangerous rut I was in. Far too many things have happened in my life at the last possible moment to either nudge me out of my rut or send me tumbling furiously in some new direction that kept me from becoming road kill.
-The pilot announcing we wouldn’t be taking off after all because two of the engines were out.
-My mom looking out the kitchen window in the exact moment that the ground swallowed me up in my sandbox.
-The misdirected “I love you” text message from a boyfriend of two weeks, who wasn’t nearly as single as he claimed.
-The boyfriend who butt-dialed the wrong person while he was on a date with someone new.
-The sting set up to catch a child predator that caught something else entirely.
-An unsettling appointment someone made with my daughter for her photographic services.
-A boyfriend leaving town with no notice and no forwarding address.
Life happens in a moment–the good things, the bad things, being saved from worse things.
One “good Christian woman” I know calls it “a GOD thing,” however heartbreaking it may be at the time. These coincidences.
Another friend of mine calls it “the great reveal of the universe”…when we’re going about our daily lives, making choices about our futures based on lies, insufficient information or both.
I don’t remember being squished. I do remember surviving. I remember being scooped up, protesting all the way, from my comfy spot in the middle of the highway. I remember being thrown. I remember tumbling. I remember sometimes landing on my back. I remember the disorientation and the slow crawl towards some new place I couldn’t recognize from that vantage point.
I’m in a different place now though. A better place and a wiser place than I’ve ever been in before even if I still miss some of the things about the roads I’ve left behind. There are times that I wonder if I might, one day, part the grasses and see ahead of me the same lake I saw a long time ago from a certain road right before I got kicked hard to the sidelines.
But even though I’m open to it, that destination depends on the decisions and development of others. So if it’s not that lake, it will be another. But if I’m on the wrong road and in the wrong rut, I know that I’ll be moved out of harm’s way in the nick of time.
The woman in pink and I stood beside the road and watched the turtle disappear into the grass.
As if by confirmation, once I got home, I found something surprising, amazing, relieving. I sat with my breakfast while I researched something for my daughter online and stumbled across a reference to an old love interest.
It’s a story of what’s been happening in his life since I last saw him. The illegal activity, the unethical activity, the hearts he’s broken, the finances he’s ruined, and I haven’t been among a one of them in this past decade.
Just more evidence that even when it seems I’ve been dealt a cruel hand at times, I was always being guided by a divine one…who throws turtles when we get too close to our own destruction.