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  • Joel Riehle

The Tortoise and the Hare


The patchy, weed-strewn lawn is mine. So it would be hard to imagine the smugness I felt two years ago when my neighbor’s grass matched mine.

He moved in and expended great energy to improve his yard.

I caught him many times weeding his front and backyard. That’s right. Hands and knees. The entire 1/3 of an acre. Pulling individual weeds.

I would spot professional lawn care trucks parked in front of his house. Spraying his grass. Then he would plant puny little plants and sticks that were supposed to flourish into bushes and blossom into roses. And at the start of the next Spring I was pleased with my inaction because he still had a crabgrass filled lawn.

He would spend time and money on watering his grass but after the rain our lots were indistinguishable.

Now I see. He played the long game and won. He won big. He paid a high price up front with no view to what really would be accomplished. But he worked with faith that his toil would not be in vain.

So what is the moral of the Tortoise and Hare? “Slow and steady wins the race”?

Why you gotta be down on the rabbit? Bursts of work with periods of rest is exactly the rhythm of life God ordained.

No I think the better message of the fable is that you should work with persistence and faith leaving the results up to God. And this is a great lesson for us to relearn in pursuit of discipleship. The turtle could have thrown his tiny tired legs up in the air and said “I will never catch the hare. What’s the point?”

So it is with you.

You don’t get your way? You don’t see any progress? You give and others take? You pray and disciples still fall away?

You don’t measure final GPA’s by your midterms!

When you’ve run your race, when you get your crown, when you hear “Well done good and faithful servant,” maybe then you will be able to grasp the results of a life lived as Christ.


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