Coexisting

Turtle-and-Alligator-animals-28905827-620-425During a trip to Florida we watched an alligator that was looking back at us from a small pond on the grounds of the condo.  Adjacent to the pond was a sign warning not to feed the alligator. As the gator stared back at us, with a look of heck with the sign toss me a hotdog, a turtle surfaced just a few inches from the gator’s well-endowed mouth.  I thought surely I was about to see the alligator enjoy the fresh catch of the day.  But that was not to be. The two coexisted as equals. The turtle wasn’t the least bit intimidated by the much larger alligator with his mouth full of pearly whites.

Of course, on paper the diminutive turtle was no match for the alligator; yet, he didn’t allow his smaller size to interfere with his breast stroke which he practiced with Olympic-like precision and determination. He didn’t cow down in fear and trembling to deny himself the benefit of exercise in the afternoon sunshine simply because the alligator was also there.  In short, the turtle held his ground and confidently did his thing.

There is a lesson there for us. I just got off the phone with a friend who is a drug addict.  He’s been in and out of jail.  My friend thinks that his feelings of inferiority fuel his addictive behaviors. He told me that he feels inferior and one down to just about everybody so he gets high in order to feel equal.  What a shame!

Many people, for a multitude of reasons, go through life feeling less than most everybody else.  In the past I have struggled with that myself.  Now, after lots of work, I realize that just like God created both the alligator and the turtle so did he create me and everybody else.  He put us all in the pond that we know as life. According to his perfect plan we are all equal. What makes the difference isn’t our looks, size, what happened yesterday or how we may feel, but what we choose to do with the opportunities that God gives us today.  I’ve always had a healthy respect for alligators, but I came away from the pond having learned more from the pint-sized turtle than from the more powerful gator.

Something to thing about

The online version of my book for free Unscrewed: Becoming Whole Again. My personal story of abuse, shame, guilt, addiction, failure,rehab and victory. http://johngouldener.com/?page_id=3877

 

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