The Slowing Gift

16 12 2013

Are you a tortoise or a hare? In Aesop’s famous fable, a hare ridicules a tortoise for his lack of speed. The tortoise challenges the hare to a race. They meet at the starting line, ready to see who will come to the finish first. The hare bounds away, leaving the tortoise far behind. The hare is so confident of his ability to win the race that he stops to take a nap along the way. In the meantime, the slow and steady tortoise moves ahead and wins the race.

We live in a society that exalts the hare. Hurrying is more than a once in a while requirement. It is a way of life. We live rushed, harried, need-to-go-faster lives. In Aesop’s fable, the moral of the story lies in the difference between the perspectives of the racers. The hare is so proud and self-confident in his ability to out-speed the tortoise that it never occurs to him that there may be another way to finish the race. The tortoise invests himself in patience and perseverance. He doesn’t measure his ability by how fast he is compared to the hare, but by whether he is willing to take one step at a time and keep on going.

My Jesus Resolution today is to slow down. This season in particular seems to highlight my tendency to be a hare. I rush and worry and feel the pressure to do more, go faster, and be speedier. But what do I miss of God because I am so sure that going fast is the only way to move through this life? I don’t want to miss the blessings of this moment because I am in such a hurry to get to the next one. Today I am going to slow down, breathe, open my eyes, and let the fullness of God’s presence completely fill the moment. At the end of Aesop’s fable, the slow tortoise beats the speedy hare. In the Bible, those who faithfully walk with God to the end win the race.


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