Sabbath 2: Day of the turtle

Sightings: Stars before dawn, tumbling river (Great Falls), 3 blue herons, a turtle floating in the canal, autumn-red Virginia creeper with blue berries on it (and I’m from the state that gave the creeper its name but still didn’t know it grows berries), 2 mules pulling the canal boat, 7 stink bugs sharing my shower, my 1st much belated campfire of 2010.

Learning by heart: Isaiah 30:20 “…but your eyes shall see your teacher.”

Gleanings: I think it was the turtle sighting that grabbed my attention. The slow, silent, sun-basking creature was floating in the shallow canal, her nose pointed above the water’s surface, catching the sun. Though there was not a trace of movement, she was highly attentive; she flicked underwater at the sound of Rick’s camera.

Much folklore attributes wisdom to the turtle. For a number of years, I have seemed to run into turtles at the most pivotal times in my life when I am in sore need of wisdom. The initial encounter was with a pair of box turtles during the day of silence at a spiritual leadership conference. It struck me then, as now, how the turtle’s ease with being slow, often still, and mostly silent is a picture of “waiting on the Lord,” an attentiveness to the presence of God, a silence in listening to God’s word, the source of Wisdom.

I have been doing way too much talking (explaining, planning, exhorting and persuading) lately without enough quiet waiting on God. Even now on vacation, my head, if not my mouth, is chattering away about things to be done or said. I doubt that it is a coincidence that my teacher, by way of a turtle, showed up to nudge me into stillness.


  1. I know what you mean. At times, Quiet time, pondering, praying, listening, a walk in the wilderness, reading the word, all with no other influences….. reaps great rewards.
    Been in that mode myself these past few days.