Are You a Turtle or a Rabbit?

My family and I recently had the joy of being “home” at my parents’ house. While I was there, many memories came flooding back to me of the time I spent there two years ago recovering from GBS.

Back then, I would sit on my parents’ deck for long periods, doing nothing but watching the turtles in the yard. Being incapacitated and needing rest, I had a lot of time to think, and I did a lot of thinking about those turtles.

When I saw a turtle back then—and even today—I would think about patience and calmness. And I would remember Psalm 46:10: “He [God] says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God’”.

The onset of GBS was like the Lord forcing me to hear him say, “Be still.” In the two years since that time, I have continued to learn a lot about being still and waiting for His “still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12 KJV).

One of the things I have learned about in a much deeper way is Isaiah 30:15, “This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength”.

My folks also have lots of squirrels in their back yard. The squirrels are a lot more exciting to watch, but like the fabled rabbit, they are no match for the perseverance and endurance of the turtle.

Just as we coach our urban ministry partners in this vital principle, I continue to learn how important the principle is for us all. May we all run the race here on earth as the Lord directs—with the turtle’s endurance, found in being still.

2 thoughts on “Are You a Turtle or a Rabbit?”

  1. Mr. Wuerffel,

    My GBS story began in July. I was quickly stricken from the waist down, and was only recently (two weeks ago) released from the hospital. I am still unable to stand on my own, using both walker and wheelchair to get around.

    I read your “Be still” passage, and I found it intriguing. You see, I am not sure I want to be still. I feel like the nine weeks of being in the hospital was my time to “Be Still”, and it made me appreciate the love my wife and I had for each other, because she was there for everything I needed. Now, I am home and want to help out. She’s under a lot of pressure because she’s the one that’s doing it all, driving, cleaning, shopping…I do what I can, and I am cooking, vacuuming, etc., but I cannot do a whole lot.

    So, it is frustrating for me to watch her struggle. Therefore, being still doesn’t seem like an option.

    My wife is a Catholic school teacher, and this has been a test of our faith. Obviously, He doesn’t task you with more than you can handle, and there is a plan, we just haven’t seen it yet.

    Did His plan finally become apparent? Also, how long did it take before you fully recovered from the GBS?

    Thanks for your time.

    1. Dear Jason,

      I am so sorry to hear that you are battling GBS and that it is placing strain on you and your family. To answer your questions, I am always trying to be receptive to what God is doing, but sometimes that is a moving target. That’s how it is in relationships.

      This has caused me to have more trust in Him. It took me about 3 months to recover from the nerve damage, and about a year and a half to regain my energy.

      Our staff will add you to our pray list for our meeting next Monday afternoon.

      God bless,

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