Hilton Head Island has been our family vacation spot for 30 years now, and on my must-do list each time we visit is to ride bikes out to Lake Mary and Lake Joe. The lakes are a preserved area, and I love the wildlife, the untouched beauty of the landscape.
I usually take my camera, capturing shots of alligators sunning on the banks of the lake and turtles floating in the water—scenes that are so peaceful and lovely. But on this particular day, I’d forgotten my camera and cell phone. As we rounded a curve, I saw something I’d never seen before: An alligator was sleeping on a big limb that was on the surface of the water.
Most of us would think that was cool enough. But a large turtle had climbed on top of the alligator and was taking a nap. And to make it even more amazing, a bird had landed on top of the turtle and was just sitting there.
Yes, folks, an alligator on a log, a turtle on top of the alligator and a bird on top of the turtle. The photo of a lifetime—and I didn’t have a camera. I wasn’t ready for the shot.
The same thing often happens spiritually. Moments come into our lives, and we aren’t ready. So I want to share a couple of things I’ve learned about being spiritually prepared.
First, read God’s Word. Let it seep into your soul and even memorize a few lines for emergencies. Spend time in prayer. Build a relationship with God before you need His help, before you get one of those phone calls that can change your life forever.
Secondly, put down roots in a church. Build friendships with people who share your love for God. They will be your support network when hard times come—whether it’s in praying for you or standing by you.
To this day, whenever I remember that bird-on-a-turtle-on-an-alligator-on-a-log day, I still smack my head and say, “If only I’d had my camera!” But I don’t ever want to look back on my life with regret and say, “If only I’d been closer to God.”