When I last visited Hawaii, one of the experiences I will remember most is the day we went to Turtle Bay and just watched dozens and dozens of Sea Turtles all in one place.
It was a beautiful day outside, and one that we were enjoying. The turtles were everywhere; on the beach and in the ocean. So we just sat and observed for a while. After doing this for 20 minutes or so I began to see a pattern. The turtles that where in the ocean would just be tucked away in their shell allowing the waves and tide to dictate where they went…just kind “tumbling” around like they were in a dryer, all the while being protected by their shell. If they caught a wave correctly and were forced onto the shore, they would come out of their shell and move around a little.
Then you had the group of turtles that were on the shore. They would be walking around interacting with one another, or simply laying there sunbathing near the ocean. The interesting thing here is that they were close enough to the ocean where a wave could come and hit them. If a big enough wave hit them and pulled them back into the ocean, they appeared to be perfectly ok with that and they would just go back in their shell and wait to be pushed back on the beach.
It was a cycle that happened over and over again.
The thing I took from this was simply that the turtles were not trying to dictate where they wanted to be. They were allowing the waves to take control of their position and enjoyed where they were currently. They really appeared to have no preference where they wanted to be, they just enjoyed where they ended up when they got there.
How many times have you tried to tell God where you wanted to be, or tried to force His hand and get somewhere that He may not have wanted you to be? I know i have done this multiple times, but each time I realize I would be better off living a “turtle lifestyle” and allowing God to dictate where I should be.
After seeing that, I began to try and live my life by this new-found “turtle lifestyle.” Just like the turtles on the beach sitting close enough to be hit by a wave, we need to continually put ourselves in places where God can pick us up and move us. The turtles could have easily been out past the breaking waves so they wouldn’t be forced on the beach, or when they were on the beach they could have stayed away from the ocean so they wouldn’t be forced back in, but they continually stayed in a place where something bigger than them had the ability to move them. Its not that I don’t care where I am, its more of a trust that God is going to put me in the right place at the right time.
So…live the turtle lifestyle. Put yourself in a place where you can be moved by God, and when He moves you, don’t complain or try and get back to where you were, just accept it and enjoy where He puts you until He decides to move you again.
For a biblical example I would encourage you to read the story of Job (in the book of Job in the Old Testament), and the different struggles he went through while keeping his faith in God.