Hurry Up Turtle!

"The Hurrier You Go
The Behinder you get!"
Old Pennsylvania Dutch saying

Hurry up turtle you’re right in the way
And we’re late for the things we’ve got to do today
Turtle turned and he looked
But kept plodding along
As if to ask “What’s the hurry 
When this road is so warm?”

But I fussed and I fumed and I honked on the horn
Till my wife told me I had to slow down and stay calm
Then I turned and I saw we had stopped by a nest
Of robin’s cheep-cheeping - I had disturbed their rest

Then I blushed as I bowed and talked to the Lord
So ashamed yet so glad we were stopped on that road
For God speaks to us in some unlikely places
If we'll slow down and listen instead of off to the races
For He shows us His path step by step as we pray
And be patient with turtles 
He has put in our way! 

Hurry Up Turtle by Peter Caligiuri
Copyright 2022 all rights reserved

Photo by Ludvig Hedenborg on

15 thoughts on “Hurry Up Turtle!

  1. Thanks for this reminder! This is a lesson that I so often need a reminder. It’s so easy sometimes to get swept away with the busyness and hurriedness of today.

  2. This one will be a Caliguiri classic for sure! There is often a juxtaposition in many of your poems that drives home your point, Pastor Pete. Our creator (God) want us to slow down for the turtles and baby robins out there. Well done!

  3. Yes, if we’re patient, we can see things we would have otherwise missed. I also can’t help thinking of the time a “turtle” may have saved my life…
    (A post from a few years ago)

    “For he will command his angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways.”                                                                                                                     Psalm 91:11
    I could have died that night, but I guess God wasn’t ready to call me home just yet.

    I was heading home after a music class for refugees, having dropped off two of the teens. It was after 7:00, and I was hungry and impatient to get home. I was playing a CD of Keith and Kristyn Getty’s songs in an attempt to focus on more spiritual things than dinner. There was one car ahead of me at a major intersection, and when the light finally turned green, it just sat there. After about five seconds I gave a couple of light taps on my horn. Still the car sat there. I figured someone was texting.

    I was about to honk again a little louder, when a large emergency vehicle that I had neither seen nor heard came barreling through the intersection. I started to shake, as I realized the car I had been so impatient with had quite possibly saved my life.

    As I cautiously continued on my way, the next song on the CD came on:                                                                         “He Will Hold Me Fast.”

    I cried the rest of the way home.
    Prayer: Lord, You hold our lives in Your hands. Help us to trust You and not be impatient when things aren’t going as fast as we think they should. Since we know neither the Big Picture nor the unseen dangers that threaten us, help us to take momentary delays as divine speed bumps that keep us safe. In Jesus’ name, amen.

  4. “Be patient with turtles He has put in our way.” Oh, I’m so thankful that I read this poem today that you so wisely wrote. There are so many turtles that God has put in my path over the years, but none that affects me as much as our Aaron. I won’t go on and on but thank you so much for this encouragement and reminder to not struggle so against the people or situations that God has given in order to teach me to wait on him…and on THEM! 🙂

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