I first read this phrase in the devotional by Charles R. Swindoll, entitled The Finishing Touch. He, in turn, was quoting a Presbyterian pastor by the name of Dr. Robert Lamont. In his youth, Dr. Lamont had seen the strange sight of a turtle being suspended on a fence-post. No doubt, this was the work of a prankster and not that of the turtle itself. He applied this idea to himself as well: “Where I am right now is not the result of my efforts; only God can be credited for lifting me to this place for His glory.”
Whenever I tell someone that I am a Kindergarten teacher, which I have been since the fall of 2008, I am reminded that I too am a turtle on a fence-post. This would have been the last grade level that I would have chosen for myself.
Yet on the Friday before the Labour Day weekend, I received a phone call from the principal of a local school asking me to consider taking a 40% position in Junior Kindergarten, starting in a few days. Honestly, I did not understand why he would call and offer this position to me. I had no experience in teaching students this young, and I styled myself as an upper elementary teacher. He asked me to think and pray about it and return his call with an answer in a few hours.
I have always had a strong sense of vocation, being called to do particular things at particular times in my life. During my prayer time, this is what came to my mind once again. This phone call was none other than a call to surrender my plans to God’s plans. I trusted that He would equip me since I did not consider myself at all prepared for this great adventure with four year olds.
But even more than being in the position of teaching Kindergarten, I feel like a turtle when I think about my humble beginnings as a simple farm girl. God has enabled me to study at some of the best schools in Canada, teach in small and large Christian schools in Ontario, write columns in secular newspapers, become married to a wonderful man, become a mother to three gifted children, and so much more.I am a turtle on a fence-post.