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Posts Tagged ‘tortoise’

I don’t like doing anything slowly. Part of that is my personality and part of it I inherited from our current culture. Fast food, fast cars, fast acting detergent, whatever! About the only ones who appreciate slow are the Slowskies from the Comcast commercials.

Galatians 6:7b, 9
A man reaps what he sows. . . . Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

But truthfully, sowing has it’s own rate of speed. I can’t make something grow any faster than it’s intended to grow. It’s total futility to sit in front of a small pot and try to talk a seed into germinating. That is all God-stuff. It’s that way in nature and it’s undoubtedly the same way in the soil of the human soul.

I have posted about the Tortoise before. This ongoing battle of speed. My mind starts that buzzing first. I wake up in the mornings, and my mind is racing far ahead of my body. It makes me tired. I want to go back to sleep just to shut it off. But it’s even worse if I put that clock on sowing good things.

Good things will always reap good, eventually. If the motive is good, the results will be comparable. But I cannot predict what this “good” will look like. Sometimes, things get worse before they get better. Sometimes, the good we sow seems absorbed and lost. But, that is just perception. Good has a power, like energy, and cannot be destroyed. Good is love.

God is good. “Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.” [Mark 10:18b]
God is love. [I John 4:16b]

I believe our focus should be on the planting, the sowing, part of the equation. Plant love in the lives of others and good will grow. I have been too “results” oriented. I’ve been looking for harvest.

My kids are all teens and I keep crying over the mistakes their making in their lives, the false starts, the collapsing dreams. I’ve been counting on those early seeds to be bearing fruit already. And sure, in some cases, that’s how it happens. But now I’m thinking, they are still germinating. And instead of sorrowing over the slow growth, I should be planting more and more. No one has ever said that we’re supposed to sow and then sit around and wait for the reaping. That will come, in its good time.

More sowing. Nice and steady. Every day. Every day.

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Tortoise and the Hare It’s not that I don’t know how to race; I’m racing all the time but my goal eludes me. Running, running but I forget to take care of myself along the way; I push myself–a little farther, just a little farther. But when I look down, I discover I’ve been on a treadmill the whole time. I’ve been in the wrong kind of race.

I Corinthians 9:24
Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but [only] one receives the prize? So run [your race] that you may lay hold [of the prize] and make it yours.
[Amplified]

In biblical times, running and racing were standards in sports. Everyone understood this metaphor and, more than likely, understood the emphasis was on preparation, consistency, and endurance. Certainly, fast was good and winning the prize was good, but just running the race required stamina, desire, and perseverance over the long haul.

I don’t think we’re supposed to be running this race just to be first at the gates of heaven. This race is a marathon. And our desire should be to run the best race that we can run as individuals.

I want to run my race with joy. I want to give myself over to the race, but not in a competitive way. I want to learn how to optimize my movements. I want to see the world around me. I want to invite others to join me. I want form over speed.

The tortoise is in the race by choice. The tortoise is not designed to run fast, just steady. The hare is quick but foolish. Who will I be today?

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Luke 24:45
Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.

Today, I reached the final verses of Luke, in my tortoise-like study of the scriptures. I have intentionally read only 8-16 verses per day, reviewing their intent and seeking an application for me that day. From these daily readings, I have asked the Lord to build these meditations.

But I realized today that we can read and read, we can listen to sermons and teachings, we can write and write about we read and hear or see, but none of it will touch the heart or light a way without the Lord’s opening of our minds for understanding.

In the same way that Jesus opened the eyes of the two disciples He encountered on the road to Emmaus, He opens the mind. It is a healing!

Acknowledging that the mind or the heart or the eyes need to be opened is part of the process. In John 5:6, Jesus asked the invalid who had been lying on a mat for a long time, “Do you want to be well?” I believe Jesus is asking me (and all of us), “Do you want to understand?” Do I really want my mind opened? I do.

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