2008-05-07 / Religion

'Where's the Turtle?'

(Pastor James Scarborough, Donalsonville Assembly of God)

My wife shared with me a while back that one of her coworkers picked up a turtle along the roadway and placed it in the trunk of her car planning to get it out later to show to her school class. It sounded like a great plan to me to bring lots of excitement to a bunch of preschoolers and give them a hands-on lesson about God's creatures native to our area. The only problem was, the excitement turned out to be experienced by the teacher instead of the students. When she later opened the trunk of her car to get the "project" out, it was gone--without a trace! Hopefully the little hard shelled attraction will present itself soon, or there will be an unpleasant situation to deal with somewhere in that dear lady's car.

I expect some of us have had a few things in our lives that we intended to deal with later only to have them hide in the deep recesses of our hearts. Those things probably seemed harmless enough when we picked them up, and we really did not intend to have them become a permanent part of our lives, but somehow they hid, dug in and in a subtle way turned our heart into their new abode. Only later those hidden, seemingly harmless new additions deteriorated and became a spiritual stench that we could no longer hide. Only eternity will reveal how many lives have been destroyed by things that the individual had sincere plans to deal with later--but never did.

Procrastination might be considered merely a nuisance or simply an undesirable trait to us--and perhaps more accurately, that we see in the lives of others. But to put things off spiritually can indeed be a great danger. The Bible very plainly reminds us that "Now is the day of salvation" (II Corinthians 6:2, NIV).

A classic example of an individual putting off dealing with his spiritual condition until another time is recorded in Acts 24. As Paul the apostle was sharing his faith in Christ with a dignitary, the following response surfaced: "As Paul discoursed on righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, 'That's enough for now! You may leave. When I findit convenient, I will send for you'" (verse 25). Felix should have taken care of the opportunity to deal with his spiritual need immediately, but he put it off, and as far as we know, He never found that "convenient time" to make sure that everything was all right between Him and God. He became another pitiful victim of spiritual procrastination.

What do you have boxed away in the deep, hidden places of your heart? Are there things that you are planning to deal with, but not right now? With the love of Christ, I warn you not to wait until tomorrow to do what needs to be done today. Open up your heart to Christ and allow Him to do what only He can do for you while there is still time.

And concerning the turtle, Gale told me that he reemerged later in good condition. I'm sure that was quite a relief for the owner of that car!

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