Run Like A Tortoise

by | Nov 10, 2017 | Deeper Life | 0 comments

Does the tortoise always win? The reference is to Aesop’s fable in that famous race between the hare and the tortoise. The hare, who clearly outdistances his opponent, decides that his lead is sufficient and he can now take a nap. Yet the tortoise maintains his pace (maybe his pace was breakneck speed for him), until he passes the hare and ultimately wins the race. Ecclesiastes 9:11 puts it this way: “The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong,”

We like to focus often on the “hares” of our world: the dreamers and schemers, the planners and developers, the entrepreneurs and builders who forge ahead with new ideas. You may be one of them and we thank God for you. But sometimes,oftentimes we forget the plodders, the ones who put one foot ahead of the other and keep going. In our quest to celebrate the rising stars, we may lose sight of the ones who keep their pace and simply do what is before them, without fanfare or the sound of trumpets to announce their arrival.

I often hear others speak of the techno celebrities, those who flash before us their achievements. I hear the applause as people celebrate their accomplishments with accolades and finances. Somehow it seems as if one has a successful television program or a large internet following, that the hare has arrived, while the plodders continue with what seems like a snail like pace.

I am privileged to know personally many who will never make the inside pages of Christianity Today, or be invited to Daystar or CBN network television. Their names quite likely will never be upon the lips of multitudes of adoring fans. Seldom will the bards sing songs of their achievements or poets write sonnets of their lives. Most will struggle financially because the work they do is not glamorous. Yet they press on, day after day, “because the love of Christ compels them” (I Cor.5:14).

This year alone, with the work that I am involved in, we have added eight new ministries to our group. Many are tortoises, (myself included), plodders who do the work before them, without fanfare or accolades. As I listen to their stories and ask what motivates them, often at great personal sacrifice, it has nothing to do with wealth or fame. Would they like to have more resources? Absolutely! Would they like others to notice what they do? Not if it distracts from their primary focus. Most serve without notice or recognition and are okay with that as they get the job done: feeding/clothing/housing the poor; quality education; medical and dental care; training leaders; developing self-supporting programs; taking care of orphans and widows, nutrition and the list goes on, all the while offering them the hope found in Jesus Christ.

Many of us are getting closer to the finish line of life. I trust that we will not be asleep by the tree as the tortoise passes us by. “The harvest is white and the laborers are few. Pray that the Lord of the harvest will raise up laborers for His harvest” (Matthew 9:37). Come, plod along with me.





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Please know that I love to speak with my Father and to bring others before Him in prayer. I have this unfailing belief that He both hears and answers the prayers of His children.
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Dave Griggs, MDiv

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