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God’s Brilliance

Okay, honeymoon’s over. Time to unveil the real Turtle.

Have you ever met someone and wondered why they exist if not to annoy you?

My Dear Friend gives me one of those “ummmmm” noises whenever I ask a question like that. Like she’s gonna tell Momma Turtle on me. Like Momma Turtle don’t know I think things like this.

I’m going with the unproven assumption here that the entire universe doesn’t revolve around me and therefore a person couldn’t exist for the sole purpose of annoying me.

Hey, that’s a pretty big concession for this turtle. I’ve led a deliberately sheltered life. I’ve avoided people because people are hard. You never know what they’re going to do or say or believe. If they don’t agree with you, they tend to express it, leading to arguments and general drama and the occasional apology.

I just don’t care for it.

It’s far easier to sit in the basement and watch the original Star Trek where all problems are solved with a simple point-and-shoot of a phaser. Or a kiss. Or both.

As I’ve grown older, not necessarily up, my opinion has changed. I’m starting to see the point of all those “worthless,” “irritating” people.

They exist to make me better.

TT: What? You think I was serious up there when I said it wasn’t all about me? Here’s the scoop: it’s always about me, even when it  isn’t. I wish that weren’t true, but if wishes were fishes, we’d all be eating steak.

I’m learning how to listen instead of take offense. I’m learning some points of view are valid, even if they aren’t mine (Not all of them! But more than I used to allow).  I’m learning how to walk away without rancor. And, most importantly, I’m learning I’m not always right, even if I’m not always wrong, either.

If everyone in the world was like me, yes, we’d have order, but it would be dreadfully boring. Half the fun in making friends is finding the places where you’re the same and the places where you’re different. When you don’t take the differences personally, they can be great. And when you arrive at similarities through different paths, it can be fascinating.

Why did God make so many kinds of animals? Why did He make the mosquito, the platypus, the cat and the panda? ‘Cause He likes variety. He likes it in people, too. It’s quite brilliant, really. Much better than I would have done it.

I used to wonder how God could love everybody. I mean, some people are just not lovable. But He doesn’t see people the way I do (and thank Him for that!). To Him, the endless variety is part of the fun.

I’ve heard it postulated God created us so He could demonstrate aspects of His character He couldn’t demonstrate any other way. How can He show His compassion without someone in need? How can He show mercy without sinners? It’s as good a reason as any, I suppose. I certainly don’t know why He did it.

TT: I have no desire to engage in a philosophical discussion about why God made man, although if you want to go there, I’m sure Gungho Iguana will be more than happy to flex his new formal logic muscles.

But if God created all of us to demonstrate His own endless creativity, isn’t it possible I’m supposed to see people different from me as an opportunity rather than an annoyance? Maybe you figured all this out years ago, but I’ve been hiding in the basement. It’s new to me.

I’m just grateful my list of “worthless” people keeps getting shorter. At the moment, it’s composed mostly of Congressmen.

God probably loves them, too.

What about you? Are you a Roy Rogers (never met a man you didn’t like) or a turtle? Let me know. I promise, I will try to be interested.

About Robynn Tolbert

Born in Kansas and born again at age six, Robynn has published two novels and started her third. Robynn, aka Ranunculus Turtle, lives in Kansas with a clowder of cats, a patient dog and a garden.

14 comments on “God’s Brilliance

  1. This is my favorite Princess Turtle post yet. This is why I love your writing and this is where you shine…in your face…love me or leave me alone…I’m a work in progress. Thank you for being you.
    BTW…I’ve never met a person I didn’t want to like. 😀

  2. ahahhaha! you just crack me up! Of course you know my answer but I think Ms Graham hit it on the head – I never met a person I didn’t want to like. Unfortunatly there was a time in my life when I would actually make fun of people! I am so ashamed of that stage in my life. I believe you really are a turtle that wants to like everyone. It is just when they open their mouth that makes you change your mind. :o)

    • Ah, My Dear Friend, your Roy Rogers attitude and rose-colored eyeballs are why I’ve started putting my first responses on hold. If you can put up with my small-minded bigotry on a daily basis, I can surely listen to a few progressive liberals without considering homicide.
      But not for long.

  3. I love how you said this:

    “Half the fun in making friends is finding the places where you’re the same and the places where you’re different. When you don’t take the differences personally, they can be great. And when you arrive at similarities through different paths, it can be fascinating.”

    I couldn’t have said it better. Just perfect! It sums up exactly how I feel, especially about “similarities through different paths.” That does fascinate me, and can wash away all the stuff that gets on my nerves about someone.

    Great post!

    • Thanks! This post idea came to me while driving home after a particularly raucous and exhilarating Sunday School session. I didn’t agree with everything, but I still loved everybody. It was weird.

  4. God created man because he was bored. 😛

  5. My dearest Turtle,{If I may be so bold?}

    When Ol Roy said this, I think maybe he didn’t finish the sentence out loud. In his head I do believe he was thinking, (Until he opened his mouth.) Now that I think about it, I think Will Rodgers said the very same thing. Oh my, methinks them Rodgers boys desperately wanted to be liked. It is virtually impossible to like everyone all the time. You may like them on a good day but……. What about their off days? Even my wonderful husband has those days that I would like to rip his nose off and stuff it in his ear! And I love him dearly. Anyone who says that they never met a person that they didn’t like, 1. has to have a very big ego. 2. Needs a lot of attention. 3. Needs to take a fat bus to shutty town and pray for forgiveness for telling the big fat lie that everyone knows this to be.

    • You may absolutely be so bold, especially when you correct me. It was Will Rogers, not Roy, who said that. I was mixing up my movie stars. I’d say it was a first but I always confuse those two red-headed actresses who played in Beeteljuice and The Ref respectively.
      And…”bus to shutty town.” I’m using that. hehe!

  6. Turtle said: “I’m learning how to listen instead of take offense. I’m learning some points of view are valid, even if they aren’t mine (Not all of them! But more than I used to allow). I’m learning how to walk away without rancor. And, most importantly, I’m learning I’m not always right, even if I’m not always wrong, either.”

    And I thought, the more I learn about you, the more I learn how similar we are. One of the biggest lessons I learned in recent years was that when I get righteously indignant about things people say about my work, it often means they have a good point.

    Not always, but often.

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