“Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning,and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks”
Many years ago, as a child I read “The Tortoise and the Hare,”one of Aesop's Fables. The hare, bolted out of the gate with impressive speed, and ran well ahead of the tortoise. Buoyed by his good start, he lay down by the roadside to rest. For his part, the tortoise crawled ahead bit by bit, step by step. When the hare awoke, he panicked upon seeing the tortoise approaching the finish line. He scrambled in a last ditch attempt to overtake the tortoise, but it was too late. The tortoise won the race, against seemingly impossible odds. He won by remaining sure-footed and focused on the goal, no matter what his opponent did. The hare spoiled his own chances by a false confidence in his early lead.
The passage above exhorts us to be ready, for we do not know when the Lord will return. Whether He returns soon, or later, we need to arm our lives with spiritual preparedness. Yet we can be tempted to ease up, lulling ourselves to sleep with a false confidence that all is well. But spiritual life, by its very definition, needs a touch from God to remain healthy and strong for the race before us (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Both the hare and tortoise faced temptations. The hare was tempted to trust in his insurmountable lead; the tortoise was tempted to discouragement. But the tortoise prevailed while the hare succumbed. Truly the tortoise had a good strategy: stay the course and keep moving forward. The hare probably had no strategy at all other than to trust in his natural gift at speed.
Routines can both bless and harm us if we’re not careful. Building a healthy routine can lead to accomplishments and blessing. But if we’re not careful, it can lull us to sleep. The cure for this is to meet with God daily for spiritual strength and renewal. But many fall prey to heavy eyelids, growing bored of a set routine.
If you’ve grown weary of your spiritual routine, remember God understands the human condition. He will provide you with the renewal you need to keep moving forward. He will also provide joy as you run the race. Turn to Him with your fatigue and discouragement. He will soon revive your spirits and renew your energy (Isaiah 40:30-31).
Paul rejoiced that he “finished” the race, not that he got off to a good start (2 Timothy 4:7). We need to keep pressing on, knowing God will reward our efforts if we do not grow weary (Galatians 6:9). Our God remains faithful, and will fulfill His good purpose toward us. Keep pressing on, even when you feel you’re making little progress. Who knows, we may be closer to the finish line than we think: Jesus may return very soon. Even so, come Lord Jesus!
Posted on Tue, February 23, 2016
by Sam Petitfils