Sunday, September 26, 2010

Shopping Carts and Turtles

The other day I was on my way to work driving down the street in the neighborhood behind my house when I came upon a turtle attempting to cross the road. Always the rescuer, I stopped my car, got out, and rescued the turtle, picking him up and delivering him safely to the side of the road in the soft, comfy grass.

Then yesterday I was driving down the aisles in the parking lot of Costco when a runaway shopping cart darted out in front of me. Stopping my car, I jumped out and rescued the cart and the parked car in its path, replacing it where it belonged, with walking onlookers applauding me on.

I am a rescuer. I always go the extra mile when someone needs assistance or advice. If I see something that needs to be done, I am right on it. I assist many customers at the Post Office with their packages, mailing problems, personal problems sometimes too. I have always felt it was my mission on earth to make life a little easier for someone in distress. Now for my dilemma. When is enough enough? When do I stop doing for others? When do I stop feeling guilty when I just have nothing left? At some point there comes a time when doing for others means they do not have the opportunity to do for themselves, and that is not healthy for me or them.

The thought came to me after I rescued the turtle, what if he really wanted to be on the opposite side of the road I placed him on? Will he just wait for me to drive off, then turn right around and go back out into the road? At some point I have to realize that I cannot be God for everyone. I cannot stand guard at my pond twenty four hours a day protecting my fish from predators. I cannot wait to see if the turtle stays out of the road.

So today I decided that I am going to take off that invisible neon sign that says "Joy to the rescue." And I spent the rest of the evening feeling guilty. And then I realized the answer to the question, If God is really God, then why does he allow.. such and such. Because God knows we need to learn our own lessons. We need to experience the consequences of our choices.

I heard once that if a bird is hatching out of its shell and someone cracks the shell and lets him out, he will die. He needs the experience of cracking the shell himself. It makes him strong and able to survive. I am the person cracking the shell because I feel sorry for the poor bird who is pecking furiously at the shell. Today I stopped cracking the shell. And I feel really bad. And I will probably have to be reminded tomorrow not to crack the shell. And the next day. And the next.

When shopping carts stop darting out in front of my car then I will know I have finally learned my lesson. Should I have let the shopping cart crash into the unsuspecting car? No, silly, it was just my Angels again, teaching me a lesson.


  1. Dilemmas like the one you just described seem to me to be the most challenging decisions in my life. I feel like dilemmas are God's way of fine tuning our judgement and ablity to properly discern which alternative to choose. If I could choose, I would want your mission to be that of a rescuer that sometimes let nature take care of predators with the gift of your fishes, while you continue to grab shopping carts and find lost souls. ... and as always, give each of us something to think about. thanks

  2. thanks, Craig.. I always like your perspective. Don't worry. I am still finding lost souls and delivering them back to their owners. It's the ones that keep running off again and again that give me trouble...

  3. There is a valuable llesson learned from the world of finance. Save 10% of everything you earn and never touch it, and eventually live off the interest from it.

    This wisdom extends to us. Save at least 10% of your attention for yourself and you will have an inexhaustible amount to give.

  4. Oh I love that!! thanks ... what great advice!!