Turtle Soup
Off the Wall, August 14,

How many times in our life have we approached a salad bar and looked at something we have never eaten before and concluded without hesitation the we are going to give it a try? Maybe we decided to take only a small spoonful. When we get back to our tables we determined that the item was the first thing we’d try. After all, it was something new and our curiosity had the best of us.

We picked up our forks, dug into the morsel, and then raised it to our mouths. We began to smell the aroma. Placing it on our tongue, most of us may have concluded, “This is really good.” On the other hand, there will always be others who will reject it and proclaim, “Yuck, I sure don’t like this!”

But the bottom line is that the unknown food was tried and we will now either continue to eat it or never do so again.

Many years ago, I was covering a fishing tournament and happened upon a fellow stirring a big pot of soup. At first, I didn’t think anything about it. Then I felt drawn to see what exactly he was concocting.

I asked him. Very softly spoken, his response was, “Turtle soup.” I had often heard of people making it, but never met anyone who actually did so.

As I watched him stir the ingredients, I could smell the wonderful aroma rise from the rather large pot. As I stood and watched him, his next statement caught me off guard.

“Would you like to try a cup?” he said. Not ever eating it before, I hesitated, for many things raced through my mind. I thought of the turtles that used to live in Pig Iron down along Loyalhanna Creek just behind Legion Keener Park, the harvesting of these creatures, and the common question that I believe goes through each of our minds, “Am I going to like the meat?”

Well, it is rather obvious that I gave in to what happened next. I accepted his invitation and tried just a little. Wow…was that not only good, it was superb, and even beyond that! I shouldn’t tell you this, but I had five bowls. Oh was that good soup!

It was so tasty that not long ago, I contacted a friend and told him he should try some. Procuring it from a local grocery store, I called up the gent and told him of my find. “I just found a can of this most delicious soup while shopping and I bought a can for you to try,” I told him.

Within in minutes, he showed up at my front door to get his free commodity. I guess his curiosity got to him, also. The real zinger came when I learned he never did open and try it, but gave it away to a close friend to eat it. And what was the fellow’s response? “I love turtle soup!”

Knowing that something exists and proceeding to try it for the first time coincides with the biblical expression, ‘taste and see.’ Many people, I believe, have heard about God somewhere in their lives. Some have accepted Him in His fullness; others have rejected Him and don’t want anything to do with Him.

I find this whole concept rather interesting.

If I were to repeat my little antidote of turtle soup in an analogical approach it may go something like this:

‘There was a man who heard of turtle soup. In as much as he longed for good tasting concoctions, and he heard that this food was delectable, he was invited to try it. He decided to taste and see whether he would find favor with this food. Much to his surprise, his simple act of decision to accept what was offered to him led him to a fulfillment unimaginable.

Just as this man found his delight in this soup, we, too, can do the same by tasting and seeing the goodness of the Lord. By reading the Bible and entering into a relationship with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, we will be doing very much the same as the man who tried the turtle soup for the first time. What will be realized are many things food cannot give us. God’s unconditional love for us will render enumerable blessings.

One may savor turtle soup as being totally delectable, but it doesn’t compare to that of the goodness that God has for us.

- Paul J. Volkmann
Contact me by email

To buy my book, Off the Wall Favorites, call me at 724-539-8850.