For all who really know me, know that I place great value on ALL life including insects. So with this in mind, let me begin my story.
I experienced a very traumatic day yesterday. I literally made myself sick. The thought of food made me want to gag but the lesson I learned, will, I hope, last me the rest of my life because I definitely DO NOT want to experience another like it.
I’ve been going to another town all week for training for work. Yesterday was the last day as well as test day. I was feeling pretty good about it all and just before I got ready to leave for my 30 minute drive, I decided to start a little early to stop at the local convenience store to treat myself to a cinnamon roll and cappuccino. Got my stuff together, went out to my car in the garage as usual. As I closed the back door to the house behind me, I pushed the garage door button on the wall. Once I got to the car, I reached in and gathered my vest and jacket together, climbed in and proceeded to drive out of the garage. I felt a little bit of a bump that was not the normal bump coming out. My immediate thought was that I ran over something. Leaving the car running, I climbed out and walked behind to see if there was something there. A Turtle!!! My worst nightmare just became reality!
He was trying to run away with only his front legs. I saw a rather large puddle of splattered blood and a small pile of his innards lying on the concrete and I immediately began running in circles in my garage, crying profusely and simultaneously screaming “No, no, no. Oh God, what do I do. No, no, no. Oh God, please tell me what to do.” Still crying, I picked him up and sat him in the dirt under a bush next to the drive way. Realizing I couldn’t leave him there and that he needed help, I found a foam cooler and put him in it. I tried to call a friend for support and to find out how to get a hold of the training center but she didn’t answer. I then called my job to see if the manager on duty could tell me how to contact the training center so that I could let them know I was going to be late. The manager knew that I was upset and when I told her what had happened, she said she would take care of it and let them know for me, to just do what I had to do.
I proceeded to put the cooler containing the turtle into my car to take it to the vet that I use for my pets. I knew that he needed to either get help or be euthanized. My whole goal at this point was to get help for him. Still crying uncontrollably, I began driving. About 10 minutes into my drive, a train blocked my path. I turned to take another route. That route ended with another train blocking me. I then decided I was now closer to a veterinarian I used to use than the one I was headed to so I changed course. I finally arrived to my new destination only to find out that they were still closed and would be for another 25 minutes. I couldn’t wait that long. I HAD to get help for this poor suffering little creature so I again changed course and started back to my original plan to my current veterinarian. It was another 10 minutes away.
I finally made it. Still crying, I ran inside with the cooler containing the turtle, told the receptionist what happened and that I needed someone to either fix him or put him to sleep and I would pay whatever it costs. She said that they had no doctors available and wouldn’t have for another 30 minutes. At this point, I felt thoroughly devastated. This poor creature was critically injured and I couldn’t get him relief from his suffering. She took me to an exam room and said she would be back, she was going to check with the manager to see if there was anything else we could do. She came back a few minutes later and said she contacted the emergency vet clinic downtown and they said they would take him. She said to go to the central highway which would take me straight to the clinic. I left, drove to the nearest entrance for the highway only to find all entrances were blocked with ambulances, police and fire trucks. All I could think was, “Why am I being blocked at every turn to get this poor creature help? Help for something I did to him. Why am I running into all of these obstacles?”
As I was still crying and wondering what to do next, I saw a side street that could take me to another entrance to the highway. I went for it. Yay, success! I made it onto the highway and to the emergency clinic. They were expecting me. I, still upset and crying, handed over the foam cooler as they assured me that they would take care of him. I told them I would pay to have him fixed if possible or to have him put to sleep if not. They informed me that he could not be fixed but they would take care of everything. I told them I didn’t want him to suffer any longer than necessary and how upset I was that I caused this to him. I told them I am one of those stupid people that pull over to move turtles out of the road so that they don’t get ran over and what do I do, I run over one in my own driveway. One of the ladies shocked me back to sanity momentarily by telling me that the Bible says there is a time for everything including death and it was this poor little guys time. My response was more tears but the reality of what she said hit me fleetingly. Still I cried.
I was given a form to fill out and as I handed it back, I asked how much it was going to be so I could pay them. They said there was no charge. I was astounded! Then I looked closer at the form, it was titled “The Good Samaritan”. I guess they don’t charge for injured non pet animals that are brought in to them. How awesome is that? Amazing, I’d say. After handing the form back to the receptionist and offering thanks, I returned to my car. I climbed in and just sat there crying and wondering why this had happened and why all the obstacles in my path to get help? I knew I had to calm down and stop crying before I proceeded on to work at the training center, so I quietly talked to God asking these questions. In an effort to distract myself, I opened my email on my cell phone and this is what I saw when I looked down at it:
If that is not an immediate answer, I truly do not know what is. One small but long hour of life carried so much pain, fear, questioning, testing, trusting, experience and life lessons. I learned much in that hour. Nothing in life on earth is guaranteed, mans plans are futile and fallible, and trust and expectations in people will only provide a false sense of security. It is only through God that we have guarantees of life, His plans are the only reliable plans, trust and faith in Him is the only true security we have, and our faith must show what we say (in other words, be prepared to walk the talk). Through the pain, both mine and the poor turtle, I gained growth in character and learned that victory over Satan can only be gained by following the spirit as it leads. It could’ve been easy to say, “oh it’s just a turtle” and moved him out of the way so that I could continue my day for my comfort, not giving second thought to his suffering and need. But instead, I practiced my faith and followed what was right. I am so sorry for the pain and loss of life of the poor turtle but the lessons learned and growth of character will stay forever.
Proverbs 16:9 The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
James 4:13-17 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
Proverbs 16:1 The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
I leave you with this final word:
Matthew 25:21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’