Last night I told a story to my family that I got from international speaker Michael Ramsden. It’s the story of the three turtles who decided to go on a picnic together.
One turtle packed sandwiches, another provided the drinks, and the third one simply came along for company. As the turtles headed off into the woods, about halfway to their destination it started to rain so they took shelter under a large rock and began talking among themselves.
The first two turtles turned to the third and said, “Look, we made the sandwiches, we made the drinks, you brought nothing, so you should be the one to go home and get the umbrellas. Get some umbrellas, come back here, we’ll go on into the woods and we’ll have our picnic.”
The third turtle said, “You must be joking. As soon as I’m around the corner you’re going to eat the food, you’re going to drink the drinks, and when I come back with the umbrellas there will be nothing left.”
The first two turtles said, “We will do no such thing.”
The third turtle said, “You absolutely will. There’s no way I’m doing that.” Eventually the first two turtles swear on their shells that they will not eat the sandwiches or drink the drinks until the third turtle comes back with the umbrellas.
So the third turtle leaves. Minutes go by. Minutes become hours, hours become days. On the tenth day the first turtle says to the second turtle, “Okay how about it, why don’t we just eat the sandwiches and drink the drink?” As soon as the first turtle says this a voice from behind a rock says, “If you do I won’t get the umbrellas!”
What’s the moral of the story? Well, the aforementioned speaker uses this story to illustrate the paralysis of indecision. It’s a good lesson. Our faith calls us to be decisive and move forward. But underlying the indecision is a fundamental lack of trust in this story. Leadership guru Patrick Lencioni says the number one dysfunction of a group or team or family is absence of trust.
As followers of Jesus, we are called to trust others in the church family. When there is a gap between what we see and what someone said they would do, we need to fill that gap with trust until proven otherwise. I know it’s risky. The Lord Jesus put his trust in 12 rough men he called his disciples. There was an unscrupulous tax collector, a violent zealot, and a host of uneducated fishermen, among others. One of them, Judas, broke trust in a big way, and was never restored. His betrayal led to the execution of Jesus. Another disciple, Peter, broke trust but found forgiveness and restoration. Ultimately, the power of trust prevailed. The good news about Jesus, entrusted to these few, soon exploded into a massive movement that has touched hearts and changed lives in every nation on earth.
The cynical way is the easy way, the trust way is the hard way. Trust can hurt, but ultimately it can bring healing far and wide. Let’s make Crosswalk a trusting place!
Love in Christ,