Thursday, December 13, 2012

Not of this world

Photo Credit:  Rachel Stout

Sitting on the shore looking out at the water, I often see beautiful green sea turtles.  They pop their heads up every so often for a breath of fresh air, then dive down again returning to their world.

What a strange existence they live.  They are primarily sea creatures, but must breathe air to live. They come to land only occasionally to rest or reproduce.  I tried to think of another land animal that was dependent on life support outside it's habitat and couldn't think of one.  (Marine mammals are the same way. They never step foot - or flipper - on land, and yet their very life depends on crossing over into the land of the air-breathers.)

Why would God create an animal that was so dependent on a world outside their own. Maybe that is a picture of what our spiritual life should be.  Maybe it could remind us that we are not of this world and that our life support is outside our natural habitat.  We need to remain close to the "surface" of the Kingdom in order to get our life-giving breath.

Of course this is not a perfect analogy, but I'm a simple girl, and these are my simple observations:

1.  Green sea turtles are hatched on land.  They are not of the sea, but live in the sea. When they emerge from the nest, they are drawn to the water by light, usually the moon reflecting off the sea. We too are born again in the Kingdom of God.  We venture back into the world, but are called not to be of it.  (The most dangerous time in a turtles life is the short journey from the nest to the sea.)

2.  Green sea turtles must breathe air to survive.  A turtle at rest can hold their breath for 4-7 hours, but when stressed or if caught in a net, they may drowned in just a few minutes if they can't reach the surface.  We too depend on our contact with Jesus in order to live without being overcome by the world.  When we're stressed, our contact needs to be constant.

3.  Hawaii's green sea turtles' greatest predator is the shark.  The turtles venture out of the water to rest and retreat from them.  The beach is a safe haven.  The Kingdom is a safe haven for us as well.  We need to take time in the sun to rest and recuperate.  Then we can return to the water refreshed.

This isn't anything too deep.  It's just something I was thinking about while watching one of God's beautiful creatures.

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let the sea resound, and all that is in it.
Psalm 96:11 NLT


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