Tortoise

I’m sure it’s a story that we’ve all heard.  The hare is known for bragging about his lightning speed.  The hare then challenges the tortoise to a race, and after getting ahead by a large margin the hare decides to take a quick nap.  The hare obviously forget to set an alarm and sleeps long enough for the tortious to not only catch up, but to actually win the race.  From this little fable, we can learn a lot about our lives.  The first thing that I learn from this is to ALWAYS set an alarm. I know how bad it is to oversleep, I’ve never slept through a race, but I feel the hare’s pain. The tortoise on the other hand is constant, and even though he is slow, he still chugs along and never gives up.

There have been many times when I have been the hare in life. I’ve often had my eyes set on the future so much, trying to fast-track to get where I want to be, I didn’t take any time to “stop and smell the roses”. When I was in 10th grade, I joined the ROTC Drill team (we spin and throw rifles to each other in competition).  Obviously, learning how to properly spin and throw a 15 pound rifle is TOUGH work. It takes a lot of patience, practice, and work. My goal was to be a starter by the time the National Championship came around in April. I tried to do things that I should not have done to speed up my progress. I overlooked everything else- people, plans, commitments… I was trying to be the hare in the story.

I was so busy rushing to the next big thing, I was actually missing out on my life.

That’s how my whole life at the point was.  I was doing one thing then another, never taking time to enjoy my life. With all my “hurry up” and haring around, I may have seemed to the world to be go-getting and obtaining great things and achievements that seem so valuable in our materialistic world, but because I was so busy rushing to the next big thing, I was actually missing out on my life. How many times do we feel like the hare, where we are only doing things for the world and not enjoying the beauty of God’s creation?

Let us be patient. Let us find meaning in what we have.

The practice of patience has dispelled my fears of inadequacy.  I have recently learned how to take life as it comes, by making goals that are achievable, but also help me enjoy the small things.  I have now found a pace of life which makes me confident of the future ahead, without burning myself out in the process.  I am now taking a more “tortious” approach in all things by evaluating what needs to be done before going full steam ahead.

I heard a talk when I was in Sydney and I remember the fact that often on his way to work, this gentleman would sometimes pull over on the highway and take a picture of the sunrise, or sunset, or something that is breathtaking.  He said he wouldn’t care if he was 3 minutes late to work, because he got to admire God and see God’s beauty in nature. Let us take time this week to be the tortoise and take it slow and steady. Let us be patient in everything we do, and remember that patience truly is a virtue but only when we find the true meaning of it.

 

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