I have named the turtle, Theopilus.
The Books of Luke and Acts were written to a man named Theopilus.
We don’t know much about him (well, he knew Luke).
The name means lover of God; loved by God; or friend of God.
I think my little turtle friend certainly is loved by God.
And Theopilus makes a very good turtle name.
I decided to name him because I saw him again.
Days after my first eye witness encounter of Theopilus’ amazing courage, I passed him again.
Theopilus was in the same area, and again determined to cross the road.
I’m not sure if he made it across the other day and then returned to the other side, or was still trying to get across.
I don’t know what is on the other side…water perhaps?…food maybe?….friend frog?….girl turtle?…..
I do know his head was stretched long and high once more and nothing was stopping him.
Theopilus has made a commitment to get to the other side of the road.
There are obstacles such as limbs and rocks.
Slick spots of oil.
And of course large monsters with loud engines, strong fumes, and tires big enough to smush such a turtle as Theopilus.
He doesn’t care about all of that.
When Luke wrote to the Theopilus of the Bible in Acts 14:22 he said “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,”
Just like my turtle friend has hardships to face in crossing the road, we must also go through many hardships.
In these hardships we grow in strength, remember God and know him more closely, learn compassion, understand humility, and begin to shed ourselves and grow in the Holy Spirit.
In these times we throw our hands in the air, land on our knees and say, “Thank you Jesus for suffering for me. Thank you for allowing me to endure this trial so that I will grow in you.”
And we cross the road.