Turtles…and Ice Cream

“Mommy, my turtle’s dead,” the little boy, Andrew, sorrowfully told his mother, holding the turtle out to her in his hand. The mother kissed him on the head, then tried to console him. “That’s all right,” she said, “We’ll wrap him in tissue paper, put him in a little box, then have a nice burial ceremony in the back yard. After that, we’ll go out for ice cream.”

“Ice cream?” the little boy said, wiping his tears and smiling. “Oh boy!” His mother said, “I don’t want you…” Her voice trailed off as she noticed the turtle move. “Andrew, your turtle isn’t dead after all!”
“Oh,” the disappointed boy said. “Can I kill it?”
That’s so much like a little kid, living for the moment, unable to see the long-term effects of a short-term decision, allowing temporary pleasure to lead him to do something he would otherwise never think of doing. But then again, we all do such things. Have you ever made a decision that later, in hindsight, you questioned, “Why in the world did I do something like that?” The ice cream is gone and so is the poor turtle.
That’s why it’s so important to base your life on a solid foundation of Biblical convictions, where many of your decisions are made ahead of time, outside of the temptation of the moment when emotions get the best of reason, and want-to tends to trump need-to. It may be moral choices, financial decisions or time priorities, but all of them demand a life grounded in intentional conviction, not flying by the seat of one’s pants. That’s a sign of true maturity–and for the Christian, a mark of spiritual maturity.
Here’s the point: don’t settle for ice cream today when you can have a pet to play with tomorrow. And don’t settle for sin now, when its destructive consequences will always be revealed sometime down the road. Truly, you will reap what you sow. (Galatians 6:7) That might mean some hard choices in the short-term, but I can assure you, a life lived intentionally out of deeply held Christian convictions will be worth it.
I hope you’re having a great week, and I look forward to seeing you Sunday at Shelby Crossings.
–Pastor Ken