Once upon a time there was a tortoise who lived by a little pond in a little town in Texas. For many years he contentedly spent his days exploring the nearby meadow, searching for food and visiting with his fellow tortoises. However one day, feeling a bit restless, he decided to leave his familiar neighborhood and do some exploring.
As he meandered down the little road which ran alongside his meadow, he chanced to look up into the sky which until now had been hidden from his view by the tall grasses and large trees. He stopped to admire the puffy white clouds and blue sky. He thought it all so fascinating and stood for a long time gazing up.
He had just resumed his walk when an astounding sight caused him to stop dead in his tracks – a bird soaring high among the clouds. He had never seen anything like it. There was no furious flapping – he simply extended his powerful wings and rode the air currents into the heavens.
Such a graceful, beautiful sight, thought the tortoise. How he wished he could fly above the earth like that, instead of having to plod slowly along with the weight of his home forever on his back. His sighed deeply and continued his walk.
He hadn’t gone far when he came upon another sight that caught him completely by surprise. The very bird he had been watching descended slowly to the ground and joined a group of his fellow birds by the side of the road. Hmm, thought the tortoise. He doesn’t look as beautiful as I had imagined. In fact they were all, well there was no other word for it, ugly.
As he cautiously approached the uncomely group he realized they were feasting on the carcass of a deer. Feeling suddenly sick to his tummy, he turned around and headed back to his meadow as fast as his little legs would carry him.
Safely home he thought about all he had seen and felt an enormous sense of gratitude – thankful to be just exactly who he was and for the life he had been given. Who knows, he thought, maybe those birds wish they could carry their safe homes around like me. It’s really quite an amazing gift I’ve been given.
How often have I looked at others with discontented, envious eyes – wishing my life could be more like theirs? If only I could do or be or have, then everything would be so much better – never knowing the true circumstances of their lives or appreciating the blessings of my own?
Instead of “if only.” what if we were thankful to be the “us” the Father created us to be? What if we were contented with the blessings and gifts He has given us? Then we would be free to be all He created us to be – loved and precious in His sight.
- Remembering That His Mercy Endures Forever