In the classic story, The Tortoise and the Hare, the tortoise wins the race because he is steadfast and preservers. He does not start out too strong. He does not give up. He keeps on going even when the other animals say he will never be able to beat the hare.
Life is like this story in many ways. We get ready for a new adventure and start off strong, perhaps too strong, and run out of energy or interest. Soon, we find ourselves like the hare from the story, napping our way to the “loser” circle. We tend to forget there is a long race ahead. We should say, “Conserve your energy.” and “Pace yourself.” But instead we say, “Get it done” and “I will not rest till…” Why?
I have watched tortoises, or land turtles, walk across a country road. They have no idea the danger they are in, or maybe they do and do not care. They take their time. They know there is a long journey ahead. Yet, they keep moving.
I love turtles for two reasons. The first is they are a sign of perseverance. They do not stop. I know most people look at them as slow and bulky. I look at them as a sign of life’s race. Run the race, keep the pace! They are slow, but they are going to get there.
The second is I think they are adorable. Come on, I’m a girl at heart and I think they are too cute. I love the tortoise and its shell. It reminds me of God’s protection over us. God, like the shell, is with us day in and day out. He does not leave. He preservers with us. He knows it is a long journey, yet he protects us the entire distance.
You may think you are in this race of life on your own. You may think you are never going to make it. There will be those who tell you that you will never make it. They will say to give up. It isn’t worth it. Don’t listen.
Some may say that turtles, or tortoises, are a sign of slow moving and laziness. I tell those people to spend an afternoon watching turtles move. They carry the weight of their homes on their back. They have ridiculously short legs which make the trip all the more long. The turtle doesn’t stop. The turtle finishes the race. So can you.