Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A New Adventure Pt. 10- Slow And Steady Wins The Race

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                The fable of the tortoise and the hare has been taught to children throughout the ages. The hare was fast and the tortoise was slow. The tortoise challenged the hare to a race. The hare, being confident in his ability to beat the slow tortoise agreed. Halfway through the race, the hare decides to take a nap; he is tired after all that fast running. Besides, the tortoise is so far back there is no way he can ever catch up, and the hare is faster and can run past him if he needs to. So, the hare takes his nap and is woken to the sound of the crowd cheering for the tortoise. The moral of the story is that no matter how fast you run slow and steady wins the race.
               I am the hare, I always have been. Slow and steady is not within me. I like to get things done because I am a result driven personality. So when things don’t happen as quickly as I think they should, I can become discouraged. Thankfully, my God knows me inside and out and this story of the tortoise and the hare is exactly what I needed to hear to remind me that slow and steady will win this new adventure I am on. He reminded me that I cannot run ahead of Him. When we jump ahead or run ahead of Him we forget important steps that need to be taken, and we run out of energy, take a nap and miss out on many blessings that He has for us. Slow and steady will win the race, we just have to trust in His timing.
                Yesterday the wind got knocked out of my sails. I was running ahead, making plans for the business and had this great idea. (Or so I thought). I thought for sure that this plan was solid, that it would work and I was gung ho to get it started. Unfortunately, like a balloon that loses it air, it fell flat to the ground. My puffed up sails lost their wind and my heart fell to the floor. I started to question and ask the Lord what I was doing wrong? Why didn’t this work like I thought it was going to? Was I kidding myself about this business? I was becoming discouraged, and was starting to feel like I needed to take a nap. I didn’t want to keep running, I was tired. Then I read the following verse and the Lord reminded me that slow and steady will win this race. I just have to trust in His timing.
                “And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise.”
Hebrews 6:15 (ESV)
                My heart fell flat to the floor like a deflated balloon because I was putting my hopes in my idea and my abilities, instead of trusting the plans that God has for me. Even though I know and believe that God has set us on this path to building our pet care business, I forget that we have to walk it, not run it. The problem with me being the hare in this story is that I try to get to the end faster. I don’t think we are moving as fast as we should and I find myself running and jumping ahead of God. Scripture tells us that Abraham patiently waited, and because he walked the race, his slow and steady won the race.
                “But do not overlook this one face, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
 2 Peter 3:8 (ESV)
                Time, my friends, is not viewed by God the same way we view it. I think to win this race and to complete this journey we are on, we must come to understand and know that time is not the same to God as it is to us. We see the days and the weeks and even the months slipping by. But we are viewing time through human eyes, through earthly eyes. Our God, He exists outside of time. He did not create time to limit His plans for us. I believe that He created time to remind us of how precious each day we have been given is, and how precious His plans are towards us. (Jeremiah 29:11)
                Time was given to us to show us that each day is a new and wonderful blessing meant to be lived out in full and complete abandon to the One who created us for this exact day. We must come to understand that God is the Author of time, and He is not limited by time. We cannot put a time limit
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on God. He will walk with us. He will guide us on this path that we are on. We cannot run it, we must walk it. Slow and steady can and will win this race, because He is the One holding the stop watch.
                Time is meant to show us how greatly blessed we are to have another day. God knows the number of our days. He knows the end from the beginning. He did not set us on these paths and tell us to hurry up and get to the end. He did not say to Abraham “Hey, Abe, here is your path now run like heck till you get to the end- hurry up, there isn’t much time.” No, He promised and Abraham waited patiently for God to fulfill it in His time.  Abraham slowly and steadily followed the steps God laid before him. This journey we are on cannot be run, it must be walked. We cannot skip ahead or run ahead, we must patiently wait for each step to be revealed. If we run ahead, we will fall down and end up losing the race all together. Time is a blessing, not a limit to make us discouraged.
                Abraham patiently waited. He persevered with patience, slowly and steadily taking each step God placed before him. He did not rush ahead. He did not jump the gun. (Well, unless you count Ishmael, and we all know how that turned out! Genesis 16) Abraham knew and believed that God was in complete control, and that if he would just keep walking, eventually, in God’s timing, the promise would be fulfilled, and it was. Abraham did not lose heart either. Scripture tells us that “he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what He had promised.” (Romans 4:20b-21 ESV)

                Time is of the Lord, my fellow travelers. We are not going to win this race by jumping ahead. Slow and steady, step by step, brick by brick is the key to the success we seek. He has placed the steps before us and we cannot skip ahead. We will lose this race if we try to run it. The time we have been given today is a reminder of how truly blessed we are to be on this journey in the first place. Today is all that we have. Tomorrow never comes and yesterday is gone. Take today to walk the steps He has given you to walk in patience and obedience, knowing and believing that He who promised is able to complete it. Slow and steady wins this race. Amen?