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Wednesday, June 20, 2012


The theme for the blog chain this month is “pursuit.” Please click on the links in the right hand column to see what my friends have to say about our theme.


In our back yard, we have 3 tortoise statuaries—a 4-foot tortoise “mamma” and two “babies.” I adore them because they remind me of Jesus.

1. Aesop was an ancient Greek who created stories to teach children life lessons. You remember some of them from your own childhood—handed down through the centuries and across continents, to end up in North American children’s books.

The Fox and the Grapes
The Ant and the Grasshopper
The Fox and the Crow

And my favorite…The Tortoise and the Hare.

Each of Aesop’s fables ends with a lesson—a moral; something learned to take away and apply to life. For The Tortoise and the Hare, the moral is: Slow and steady wins the race.

Jesus also told stories to teach. He also created parables that left people with something to take away and apply to life.

The Parable of the Mustard Seed (Matthew 13:31)
The Parable of the Yeast (Matthew 13:33)
The Parable of the Pearl (Matthew 13:44)
The Parable of the Sower (Mark 4:3)
…to name a few.

2. The Apostle Paul filled his epistles with metaphors that compared a life in Christ to running a race. He talks about running the race with discipline (1 Corinthians 9:4); running the race for a purpose and with a goal (Galatians 2:2); running a good race (Galatians 5:7); and running with perseverance a race marked out for us (Hebrews 12: 1).

It is Hebrews that reminds me most of The Tortoise and the Hare. The tortoise ran with perseverance—plodding; one step after the other; not taking shortcuts; not making detours or following the easy or the scenic route. He continued along the course, from beginning to end; without stopping or becoming discouraged.

In our walk with Jesus, sometimes Jesus carries us forward; sometimes he slows us down. But never does he help us detour from our course; never does he hinder our forward movement toward our goal of heaven with Him.

3. Now that I am on the second half of my life here on earth, I realize how quickly the first half flew by; how much I’ve accomplished; how much is left to do. Our earthly instinct is to do everything quickly; get it done…before. Make time for the next project; the next idea; the next race to be run.

The hard thing to remember is that life is not a series of track meets. It is not a sprint or 20 times around the  football field before heading to the showers.

Life—both here on earth and life eternal—is a long-distance marathon. He who finishes first doesn’t win the one and only prize. Rather, like true marathon races, everyone who finishes is a winner. So, everyone who spends eternity with Jesus wins.

We can run the good race like turtles; because when it comes to living a life for Christ, slow and steady truly does win the race.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for this earthly life and for our promised eternal life with you. Please help us stay the course; help us run and not grow weary; help us be turtles for you, remembering that we carry our eternal home in our hearts. Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? What’s your favorite Aesop’s fable and why? What’s your favorite parable?


Michael Johnson said...

Great post on the slow pursuit of the goal. My favorite parable is the parable of the net in Matthew 13:47–52. This one always gives me the shivers.

chris said...

Love the idea of staying slow and steadily on course!

The parable on my mind today is the 4 soils, Matthew 13:10-23... focusing on my surroundings and staying in the good soil!!

Bill Jones said...

Excellent thoughts on slow and steady - as you say, there are few things in life that are sprints - it's day by day and little by little.
My favorite parable is the prodigal son - although it's happened enough in man's history that it's not necessarily a parable.

lynnmosher said...

Ooo...I love this! Steady as she goes wins the race! So good! I can't think of my favorite fable but I think my favorite parable is the prodigal son. Thanks so much for sharing this! Bless you!

SandiGrace said...

Hi Carol, I think the Tortoise and the Hare is my favorite fable, too. By my very nature, I'm a slow and steady plodder which drives my sisters nuts. LOL My second favorite fable is the Crow and the Pitcher. "Little by little does the trick." My favorite parable is either The Good Samaritan or The Mustard Seed. I can't decide. :)
Thanks for a great post!

E. G. Lewis said...

Deciding on my favorite parable is a toughie. I think I'd probably go with the Prodigal Son. I've always like the story of the wind and the sun competing to make a man remove his coat...don't know it that's one of Aesop's or not.
Peace and Blessings

From Carols Quill said...

@ Michael - Oh, I love the net parable, too! It's not one that most people think of at first.

@ Chris - the soils is one of my favorite parables--it so nicely reminds us (among other things) that people's salvation is up to God; not us.

From Carols Quill said...

@ Bill, Lynn and E.G. - all of you "vote" for the Prodigal Son. I recently read "Prodigal God" which I loved--referencing the third "good son" Jesus in that parable.

From Carols Quill said...

@ Sandi - so glad to know a fellow plodder!

Tracy Krauss said...

This was a great analogy of how we should approach life. thanks Carol.

Jack Brown said...

i finally got here

fave fable has to be the tortoise and the hare
and Jesus teaching the prodigal son
the Father scans the horizon until He spots the prodigal afar off
then He prepares a party WOW
biiiiig hug

From Carols Quill said...

@ Tracy - thank you!

@ Jack - I do so love that God has a party for us! big hug back!

Deborah K. Anderson said...

My favorite is The Tortoise and the Hare. For all the wonderful reasons you already mentioned.

Great post, sister!

From Carols Quill said...

@ Deborah - we're kindred sisters. Tortoises under the shell...

TraciB said...

Beautiful post, Carol. I'm encouraged by the reminder that I'm running a marathon, not a 100-yard dash. Thanks. :)

From Carols Quill said...

@ Traci - Glad you're encouraged; I am too because some days my feet hurt so much I have to walk instead of run. But it's all forward progress toward God.