An old rancher is talking about politics with a young man from the city. He compares a politician to a “post turtle”. The young man doesn’t understand and asks him what a post turtle is. The old man says, “When you’re driving down a country road and you see a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that’s a post turtle. You know he didn’t get up there by himself. He doesn’t belong there; he can’t get anything done while he’s up there; and you just want to help the poor, dumb thing down.”
I find that story funny but so true. Alex Haley, author of Roots, has a different take on that story. He had a picture on his office wall of a turtle sitting on a fence post. He said the picture was there to remind him of an important lesson: If you see a turtle on a fence post, you know he had some help getting there.
Haley said, “Every time I’m tempted to think, ‘Aren’t I marvelous? Look at all I’ve accomplished!’ I look at that picture and remember how this turtle — me — got up on that post.”
I like that rendering of the story even better. We always need to be reminded that we are not remote islands as we live our lives out here on this earth. There is always someone, a mom, a dad, a brother, a sister, a friend or colleague who has helped us somewhere along the way.
This is a good time of the year to take the time to say thank you to the ones — and, specifically, the One — who helped you make it to the top of the post.
Obviously, we begin by giving thanks to the Father for all that He has done. But let’s not forget also to say thanks to those who play a part in bringing His goodness our way.
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” – Philippians 1:3-5
“give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Is there someone to whom you can say ‘thank you’ today?