Follow Your Guiding Light

13 Aug Follow Your Guiding Light

During a recent trip to Florida my husband, Dave, and I had the pleasure of witnessing a spectacular event.

One evening while walking on the beach, we saw a group of people down on their knees creating a roadway in the sand. They told us they were making a trough in the sand to help the newly hatched loggerhead turtles make their way to the ocean.

As we approached the turtle nest, we saw several three inch-sized baby turtles one by one forcing themselves through the sand pushing their way up and out of the hole. I could not help but tear up witnessing this natural birth and right of passage occur before my eyes.

What a glorious experience it was to see these tiny creatures emerge from their darkness. All of them instinctively knew the plan. Once out of their sandy nest, they were to head towards the light of the ocean. Desire and a strong effort were required to make it to water before a bird of prey found them on dry land.

A few days later while walking along another beach, we came upon a “turtle lady”. She is a paid worker who rides an ATV along the beach looking for new turtle nests. Once she finds one, she stakes out the area to protect it until the eggs hatch. After the turtles depart the nest, she counts the eggs and documents how many hatched.

The turtle lady informed us that a typical nest has 100 eggs. They lay so many in hopes that at least a portion of them will make it to the ocean. Many of them become misguided by lights from homes and hotels and go away from the ocean instead of towards it. This misdirection can not only take them off their intended course but ultimately cost them their very survival.

This morning the turtle lady found a few baby turtles that had hatched but had not yet made it out of the sandy nest which their brothers and sisters had left the day or two earlier. She said she was giving aid to these two weak ones by placing them in a bucket where they squirmed around in the sand. Later she planned to release them close to the ocean’s edge where they would make the rest of their journey on their own. She said the turtles need this time of struggle. Breaking out of their shell, digging their way up out of the hole and mightily forcing their little arms and legs to push them along the coarse sand is part of the natural process designed to strengthen their muscles, fill their lungs and make them strong enough to make it long term.

This wonder of nature made me think how we too each have a light to follow and are not immune to the struggles designed to develop our muscles along the way. “Prey” and other challenges take our attention and take us off course. If we can refocus our sights on our guiding light, we will find our way and discover life abundantly.

The very nature of birth and the many struggles that follow are part of the divine plan. The birthing process is not easy and afterwards God does not allow trials to come into our lives without a purpose. His light is always there to guide us. It is our choice to stay focused on Him as we make our way over hurdles and toward living waters. As we endure and conquer challenges, our spiritual muscles develop and our lungs receive this nurturing breath of life.

When you find yourself in the midst of a struggle, look upward and keep your focus on your guiding light.  Along the way, accept the help of others as they reach out to help smooth out the rough path. Fill your lungs with the breath of life and you too will find your way to an ocean full of His glory.

— Barbara Zerfoss