tortoise walking

Tortoise or Hare

Most of us learned a fable when we were little kids. The great race between the tortoise and the hare taught us that speed is trumped by steadiness. As familiar as it is, we seem blind to its lessons on a number of expressions.

Investing capitalizes on a steady discipline of thoughtful choices that produce results over time. The old adage “time IN the market beats timING the market” is so true.

Spiritual growth follows a similar arc. We love the flashy stories, but God tends to feed and lead our hearts with a steady hand, and our spiritual choices to let God speak to us consistently over time tend to yield a healthier, stronger spirit over that time.

Although the logic is sound, our addiction to instant results challenges the logic because most of us want what we want when and how we want it. In our reality TV culture, we create reality rather than recognize it. “True” housewives, or any other picture that we are given are far from TRUE, but we label it that way and start to assume that our own lives are out of sync.

And against that cultural backdrop, Jesus calls us to follow Him. Following is a daily, steady experience. Occasionally, I have a breakfast that is stellar, but most of the time it’s non-descript, even though the nutrition is consistent. I find the same picture in following Jesus. Some days are breakthrough days when I feel as if I have awakened from spiritual slumber to enjoy a feast, but most days are the steady nutrition of following His lead with basic choices. Those days don’t feel exhilarating, but my thinking and values have been calibrated to His leadership whether I feel it or not. I have seen the truth whether I can recognize a sudden gain or not.

But when I look back over time, it’s evident. A broker sends a final report of stock performance and you realize double digit gains, but in the day to day saving and staying you don’t feel it. The market goes up 3/10% and you don’t feel it. It goes down a half percent and you don’t realize a change. But in a year of ups and downs, gains and losses, at the end you look back and find that you have made more progress than you realized.

From time to time, a friend may reconnect with you and say, “Something’s different.” They articulate that difference and only then do you realize the refining work that Jesus has been doing in your heart, steadily, consistently, patiently.

So, friends, will you take following Him one day, one step, one choice at a time and trust Him to grow your heart this year?


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