My sister is a beautiful soul with a big heart. She is especially tenderhearted towards God’s creatures, from furry puppies to even slithering snakes (yikes!). In spite of my love for the beauty of God’s creation, I seem to take it as a part of my surroundings. A duck with her ducklings will catch my eye and even generate a smile and quick word of thanks for God’s handiwork, but for my sister, she stops and soaks it in and if there is any hint of need or danger, she takes action to remedy when able and appropriate.
Earlier this month, we were staying at Don Pedro Island. Typically in July , Florida is brutally hot, humid and filled with random thunderstorms. So the best time to get out and walk the beach and shell is early morning. My sister would start her morning routine with a walk along the Gulf, taking in the sights, smells and softness of the beach.
It just happens that July is nesting season for the indigenous sea turtles and a local advocacy group carefully monitors the beach for new nests and cords them off and keeps a watchful eye on their progress through the weeks ahead. You see the sea turtles are endangered and this group is actively working to make people aware of the need to leave their nesting habitat alone. The goal is not to hinder the progress and hopeful recovery of this population of gentle sea creatures. My sister took to connecting with the turtle advocate and she too walked the beach to assist in the monitoring.
Sea turtles are not nurturing, so once the mother lays her eggs on the beachfront, she returns to the ocean, leaving the eggs to incubate for 45-70 days (depending on the type of sea turtle). From first hatching,these creatures have many obstacles to overcome one of which is the fact that they are color blind. They also have many predators, ranging from raccoons, armadillos, birds, and in some parts of the world humans who use the eggs for food.
With all of these risks at hand, the newly hatched sea turtles are so slow , it can take days for them to make it from the nest to the water, where of course there are still some aquatic predators to overcome. It is amazing yet in this cycle of life, as with all living creatures, some of the hatchlings survive and manage to continue the population. Add to this a new hindrance to their progress, the invasion of human habitats into their domain along the beaches, wherever you have people, you can expect the comforts and necessities that we humans rely on to live our lives. (buildings, roads, technology, stuff…)
Newly hatched sea turtles use cues to find the water, including the slope of the beach, the white crests of the waves and the Natural Light of the ocean horizon. Any other light source, beachfront lighting, street lights, lights from cars, campfires, etc. can lead hatchlings in the wrong direction. Essentially they become disoriented and follow a false light source, leading to their death. The advocacy group has taken to post signs informing residents along Don Pedro Island to leave their porch lights off during hatching seasons in order to avoid the unnecessary demise of these beautiful , gentle, endangered creatures. The reason that they take this so seriously is that it is estimated that at the current trend, sea turtles could be near extinction within 50 years. That is pretty sobering.
It got me thinking, as people, we are born into this world and have so many obstacles towards simply living in peace and security for our souls, whether a Christian Believer or not, most people recognize that there is an essential struggle to live life fully with joy and peace. John 8:12 says ” When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me, will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’.” Essentially Jesus is the Natural Light, the true source to Life.
When we, like the newly hatched sea turtles, follow false light, we may believe strongly we are moving in the direction of life and sustenance, but in fact are moving further away towards death. Proverbs 14:12 says “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” How many people are on a passionate path towards death? Our news is filled with so much happening throughout the world, much of it reflecting passionate pursuit and yet the result is devastating, not only to themselves, but in many cases to others as well.
Are you following the True and Natural Light that leads to life?
Psalm 119:5 ” Your Word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”
Psalm 27:1 “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?”
Psalm 19:8 ” The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.”
My prayer is that you passionately pursue the True and Natural Light of Jesus through His Word. Beware of false light, it can look like the real thing, but it is leading towards a path of darkness and death. Seek His Word and move freely in His path…..