It's amazing how much bedtime stories as kids remain with us through life. Remember Aesop's Fables? Probably some of the best known and most passed-on children's stories of all time.
One of Aesop's most powerful stories in my life is The Tortoise and the Hare - it goes like this ...
"Once upon a time there was a hare who, boasting how he could run faster than anyone else, was forever teasing tortoise for its slowness. Then one day, the irate tortoise answered back: “Who do you think you are? There’s no denying you’re swift, but even you can be beaten!” The hare squealed with laughter.
“Beaten in a race? By whom? Not you, surely! I bet there’s nobody in the world that can win against me, I’m so speedy. Now, why don’t you try?”
Annoyed by such bragging, the tortoise accepted the challenge. A course was planned, and the next day at dawn they stood at the starting line. The hare yawned sleepily as the meek tortoise trudged slowly off. When the hare saw how painfully slow his rival was, he decided, half asleep on his feet, to have a quick nap. “Take your time!” he said. “I’ll have forty winks and catch up with you in a minute.”
The hare woke with a start from a fitful sleep and gazed round, looking for the tortoise. But the creature was only a short distance away, having barely covered a third of the course. Breathing a sigh of relief, the hare decided he might as well have breakfast too, and off he went to munch some cabbages he had noticed in a nearby field. But the heavy meal and the hot sun made his eyelids droop. With a careless glance at the tortoise, now halfway along the course, he decided to have another snooze before flashing past the winning post. And smiling at the thought of the look on the tortoise’s face when it saw the hare speed by, he fell fast asleep and was soon snoring happily. The sun started to sink, below the horizon, and the tortoise, who had been plodding towards the winning post since morning, was scarcely a yard from the finish. At that very point, the hare woke with a jolt. He could see the tortoise a speck in the distance and away he dashed. He leapt and bounded at a great rate, his tongue lolling, and gasping for breath. Just a little more and he’d be first at the finish. But the hare’s last leap was just too late, for the tortoise had beaten him to the winning post. Poor hare! Tired and in disgrace, he slumped down beside the tortoise who was silently smiling at him.
“Slowly does it every time!” he said."
I think this story has loads of wisdom for adults too! In our workplaces and in our efforts to serve the Lord, faithfulness is so vital.
Love what Mark Batterson says about this, "we often overestimate what we can do in the next two years, but underestimate what we can do in the next 10."
I've stated (from experience) over the past year or two, "If we are willing to get there slowly, we will eventually get there. If we want to get somewhere fast, we will probably never make it."
It's not enough to sprint off the starting blocks. If we are to be effective in life, work and faith, we must finish what we start, and serve faithfully in the "in between."
Slowly does it every time! Slowly. Faithfully. Passionately.