Don’t be impatient for the Lord to act! Keep traveling steadily along his pathway and in due season he will honor you with every blessing. [Psalm 37:34a (TLB)]
And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up. [Galatians 6:9 (TLB)]
In the familiar Aesop’s fable of “The Tortoise and the Hare,” the over-confident hare takes a nap midway through the course while the tortoise, plodding steadily along, passes him and wins the race. I’ve always seen the moral of the story to be “slow but sure wins the race” with an added warning to beware of over-confidence. I never thought about how the tortoise must have felt as he trudged along so slowly. Did he ever measure his pace and progress against the hare’s? Did he think he could even finish the course let alone win it? Did he ever entertain thoughts of quitting? If I’d been the tortoise in Aesop’s story, I’m afraid I might have given up in despair long before discovering the sleeping hare along the road!
We recently visited a nature preserve that is home to several gopher tortoises. After comparing them with the rabbits in our neighborhood, given a choice, I’d prefer to move like the rabbit. Sometimes, however, life moves at the tortoise’s pace. Progress seems to come in fractions of an inch instead of feet and it’s easy to get discouraged.
Lord, thank you for the course you’ve laid out for us. Help us accept that sometimes progress is painstakingly slow. Give us endurance and patience so we can travel steadily (and joyfully) along the path you’ve given us.
The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it. [Ellen Glasgow]