I came across a story the other day that made me smile. On the Caribbean island of Bonaire, the residents discovered the population of loggerhead turtles was dwindling. Normally, as soon as a baby turtle hatches from its egg and emerges from the sand, it scrambles to find safe harbor in the ocean depths. But for some reason, the majority of newly-hatched turtles were heading in the opposite direction away from the water. Exposed and vulnerable, they became easy prey for predators as they roamed around in circles, unable to find the shoreline and escape to safety.
In an effort to reverse this trend, volunteers decided to stake out the usual places where the female turtles lay their eggs. Then they waited. As soon as they saw signs of the turtles hatching, a large crowd gathered to form two lines, one on either side of the nest, that led all the way to the water's edge. In essence, they created a human wall, or what I like to call "turtle bumpers," to help guide the tiny creatures to the water.
We all need bumpers in our lives - that still, small voice of God and those loved ones and friends who gently prod us in the right direction, even when we don't want to hear it. I'm so thankful for the times when someone asked me, "Are you sure this is what you want to do?" Or when God whispered in my ear, "Maybe you should think about this first." Or when my husband advised against making a rash decision over something that, in retrospect, was better off tucking away under the category of Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time.
Not all the turtles heeded the bumpers. Confused, some crawled back into the nest and wouldn't come out. Others, despite volunteers going so far as to physically turn them in the right direction, still insisted on going the other way and eventually wore themselves out or were gobbled up by seagulls.
Just like those unfortunate turtles, we don't always listen to sound advice. Sometimes we forge on, despite the consequences, and we win in the end. There's something to be said about believing in yourself and pressing on, no matter what the obstacles. That's how greatness is achieved. But we also lose sometimes due to stubbornness and insisting on the motto of "my way or the highway."
One of the great things about life is that, as we become wiser from enduring hard knocks and learning how to get back up, somewhere along the way we evolve from that struggling baby turtle into that volunteer who helps newly-hatched turtles find the ocean.
Be a turtle bumper!
Sign up for my blogs and updates here!
Titles available from my Shop!