Hebrews 12:1-2a (NIV) “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”
Have you read Aesop’s, “The Tortoise and the Hare”? This was one of my favorite childhood stories.
The hare boasts of his speed and taunts the tortoise for his lack thereof. Tired of the incessant bullying and arrogance, the tortoise challenges the hare to a race. The hare agrees. Armed with his strength and knowing the weakness of his opponent, the hare takes a nap while the race is in progress. The tortoise keeps on in his slow but steady pace. The tortoise wins!
Distinct as they may be, the tortoise and the hare both remind me of me.
At times I find myself in the hare’s shoes–arrogant and a know-it-all. I dash through things without first seeking the LORD’s guidance. Distractions come my way and I take bunny trails, forgetting where I’m headed and not getting there on time. Sometimes I take on ministries God didn’t commission me to and discover I neglected what was most essential (Luke 10:38-42).
I take naps, too. Rest is good. “And God blessed and made the seventh day holy, because on it He rested from all the work of creating that He had done” (Genesis 2:3). A good thing can turn bad with the wrong attitude. The hare rested because of his overconfidence in his ability. I can have the same attitude.
At other times, I can relate with the tortoise. He might be slow but he sure got his sights on the target. The Chinese philosopher Laozi said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” The tortoise did not concern himself with his limitations. He commenced with the first step and kept on moving. As we continue to read Scriptures, listen, obey, and make decisions with discernment from the Holy Spirit, we move closer towards what God intends for us.
I am most like the tortoise when I give my talents and limitations to the LORD for His glory and honor. I grew up with anxiety but I was able to obtain a medical degree to the astonishment of many. This is a testimony of God’s faithfulness and power.
Have you ever been like the tortoise? Have you ever been like the hare?
Or maybe both, like me.
We are all in the same race. How we allow the LORD to use our lives, makes the difference. We are all on equal footing in God’s loving eyes “for God does not show favoritism” (Romans 2:11). Those who “fix their eyes on Jesus and run with perseverance” finish the race (Hebrews 12:2 NIV). May it be you and me.