top of page
  • Writer's pictureRevShirleyMurphy

Turtles Can't Fly

Sometimes, it is a very difficult to be patient. When we’re bringing our concerns to the Lord again and again, we can grow tired of waiting. We can begin to feel like our prayers are falling on deaf ears. Often our desire is to take control and just “do the best we can” even though we know Galatians 5 lists patience as a fruit of the Holy Spirit. When this dawns on us, we might confess our desire to rule our own lives, inviting the Spirit to direct us and empower us once again as we continue to wait on the Lord.

A determined little turtle once climbed a tree. He somehow made it to the first branch. Then he jumped into the air waving his front legs and crashed to the ground.

After a while he slowly climbed the tree again. And again, he jumped. This time he flapped all four of his limbs, but still plummeted to the hard ground.

The persistent turtle tried again and again with the same results. A couple of birds perched on a branch nearby watched his futile efforts. One of them turned to her mate and said, "Dear, don't you think it's time to tell him he's adopted?"

There are simply some things we cannot do. Turtles can't fly.

Comedian Bob Hope once thought of pursuing a career in boxing. Later in life he quipped about it: "I ruined my hands in the ring" he said. "The referee kept stepping on them."

Fighting is something he could not do well. But he became a great comedian.

Lots of people have ability and talent. And most people have an idea about what they think they can do. So why do some excel but many do not?

The famous American caricaturist Al Hirschfield explained it like this: "I believe everybody is creative and everybody is talented," he said. "I just don't think that everybody is disciplined. I think that's a rare commodity."

The secret seems to be discipline. Whatever ability we are born with is not enough. Even raw talent requires discipline to be nurtured and developed. And enough hard work and discipline can turn the most meagre skill or ability into a great strength.

A man jumped into a taxi cab in New York and asked the driver, "How do I get to Yankee stadium?"

The cabbie replied, "Practice! Practice! Practice!"

He's right. And although discipline and practice may never get a turtle to actually fly, it will probably get you and me just about wherever we want to go.

Waiting is a common experience. All our brothers and sisters in faith, as well as all of creation, know what it is like to wait on the Lord. Consider those who have waited before you: Job, David, a myriad of prophets. There is plenty of encouragement in the Bible concerning our need for patience. James 5:7, Colossians 1:10-12, Psalm 40:1 and Revelation 14:12 are just a few examples taken from a myriad of passages about the topic.

The New Bible Dictionary defines patience as “God-given restraint in the face of opposition or oppression.” Patience is only necessary in the face of opposition. This is why seeking patience is in many senses a battle. The promise we can lean on is that patience is God-given restraint, not something we are to produce in our own strength. The Lord is the one who provides us with spiritual armour to go into battle. Our only responsibility is to trust that God will provide the strength to hold on, and then act accordingly to our faith in that promise.


1. The Power of Patience: How This Old-Fashioned Virtue Can Improve Your Life - M.J. Ryan

2. Steve Goodier (

4. Patience and Humility: A Handbook for Christians- Ullathorne William

5. Patience: Perseverance Through the Wait - Johnson Terri Ann Johnson

6. Faith And Patience - Copeland Kenneth

166 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page