“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” ~ II Timothy 4:7

Lately I’ve been reading a book about fitting creativity into the schedule of being a mom.  It’s a very encouraging read, something I’m definitely glad to have on my shelf.  Having suggestions on how to work in art and writing into an already over packed schedule are something I need in my box of tricks at this point in life.

One of the analogies the author uses is the fable about the tortoise and the hare.  Rather than trying to find time to do an entire project all at once, instead focus your energy on a few minutes here and a few minutes there to work on something.  Focus on building art into your life in small increments, and over time it will add up.  Like so many things in life, this makes total sense, but it got me thinking about the fable itself.

The tortoise is the one challenging the overconfident hare to race in the story.  And when the hare blasts past him, the tortoise keeps on going.  Slow and steady, focused entirely on his goal, the tortoise doesn’t even concern himself with what the hare is doing.  Even when the hare races on so far ahead he feels he has time to take a nap, the tortoise keeps plodding away toward the finish line.

What on earth made the tortoise keep going?

Seeing the hare blast past would be enough to make most of us give up and quit.  We would figure that there was no way of winning, so why bother?  Yet the tortoise keeps moving.  This, to me, is pretty amazing in and of itself.  We have the ending of the story – we know it turns out the tortoise wins.  But the tortoise himself had no way of knowing that.  All he had was the knowledge that his only chance of winning was to keep going.

If that isn’t inspiring, then nothing is.

Running the race for Christ can be just as difficult to keep going at as the race between the tortoise and the hare.  We experience too many failures, too many rejections, too many heartaches.  We see others succeeding so much more.  It is so tempting to throw in the towel and give up.  But we have to keep going.  Even if we are plodding along at times, our gift to our Creator is that we always kept going, no matter how much rain the enemy pours down on us.  Regardless of the opposition, we must keep our eyes on the finish line, because someday we’ll get there – and Jesus will be waiting, with open arms, to welcome us Home.