The theme for the ChristianWriters.com 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?