They called it a 101-headed turtle.
I didn’t quite see what they described, but I affirmed them for their creativity and unique perspective.
I’m sure when they began this endeavor it wasn’t a turtle they were thinking of. They used these magnetic blocks to create all kinds of fun and fanciful shapes and buildings.
As they built it, they saw the turtle.
They had an end game in mind. And they finished it well.
Too often in my own life, I have these great ideas and can begin with enthusiasm and purposefulness. But I don’t think through the process, or I don’t like where it’s going.
Or I just quit.
Culturally, we seem to have grandiose ideas, huge end goals, but we don’t follow through well enough to make it matter. Everybody wants to go green, but very few people have the money to buy electric cars.
We want to honor and respect people, no matter who they are or how they differ from us. But we lack the courage to connect well with others; we become critical of those who aren’t like us, whoever “us” might be.
All six of my children played soccer. They learned early on that to improve in their sport, they had to practice. They had no problem with that. They all enjoyed it.
All six also took piano lessons–the same principle held true there. Practice raised their ability to play well.
Not one of them stuck with piano for any length of time. They didn’t like practicing–it was more grueling than being outside kicking a ball.
Any choice we make in life carries with it consequences. If something is important enough, we’ll choose to give up something in order to gain what we deem more significant.
The Apostle Paul wrote about this when he spoke of living life as a follower of Jesus. He explained life lived purposefully, choosing to follow God, had a cost.
“Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-25
Nobody ever said living life as a follower of Jesus is easy. People misunderstand, ridicule, minimize faith to the point where it feels easier to hide what we believe.
True faith means choosing to give up things in life that diminish hope and faith and pursuing that which builds faith.
It’s easy to make choices that sound great at the moment. Following through intentionally and making those choices count can cause us to question our motives. Or perspective.
God has already chosen us. His heart is that everyone will know Him and His love for them. Choosing Him means not choosing other things.
Life is a journey, and as we move through it, we become more aware of what is important and what doesn’t matter. We can make choices that help us grow and not hold back our hopes and development.
When the kids saw the turtle, they finished what they began.
What hope can you see that you need to pursue and finish?
Will it last forever?