Save the Turtles
This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:3-4
It’s that time of year again, when, for reasons unknown to me, the snapping turtles are migrating across our roads. This means it’s also that time of year when we see a lot of snapping turtles crushed on the road. Yesterday, my son showed me a picture of yet another snapper he’d just saved. He’s always been that kid – always asking to stop the car to get out and carry a turtle across the road, saving it from almost certain death. Now that he’s driving, he’s the one who stops the car so he can save them. He knows he can’t save all the turtles. Just as he saved one yesterday, we also saw one crushed. This saddened my son. If he could, he would save them all.
I feel the same in my line of work. In trying to help those who’re addicted, for everyone that I help point to recovery, there seem to be many more who never find it. I know I don’t personally save anyone, but if I could, would I? I obviously don’t have that kind of power, but if I did, would I save everyone from addiction? What would that look like?
In today’s passage, we’re told that God desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. We know that this isn’t the case though. Not everyone finds God and not everyone is saved from self-destruction. Why not? If God wants everyone to be saved, why doesn’t he just make it so? He’s God. Doesn’t God get what God wants?
Apparently, though God wants everyone to know him, there’s something he wants more. God loves us and longs for us to love him back. For love to be love however, there must be a choice. God could make us robots who have no option but to do what he says, but a robot is incapable of love. Love, which is what God desires of us, must involve a choice. So, God wants us to live in a loving relationship with him, but he doesn’t force us. He allows us to choose to follow him or ourselves.
If I had the power, it would be tempting to force everyone into treatment and recovery. God, in his wisdom though, allows us free will to choose the direction of our lives. We can follow ourselves, eventually self-destructing. Or, we can follow him, experiencing the life, joy, and peace for which we were made. The choice is up to us.