I loved the fable of the tortoise and the hare when I was a kid. I loved that the “moral of the story,” was that the slow (yet consistent) guy won! There was something in me that loved the “upset” of the race between those two personified animals.
And many years later as a 7th grade language arts teacher, I also loved teaching this folktale. It was fun to talk about WHY the tortoise’s steadiness was empowering for him, why it resulted in success, and what this quality said about this slow moving shelled animal. (Don’t get me wrong, my 7th graders never went THAT deep with their dissection of a folktale…but it sure was fun to try!)
The word STEADY has recently come back up in my life. God has been making it very clear to me (through His Word and a variety of people randomly talking about it) that I need to dive into what this term means. My 3-year-old son even woke up a few weeks ago, walked downstairs and plopped on the couch next to me while I was having some coffee and time with the Lord, and out of no where he asked me what the word “STEADY” means. I about fell off the couch.
STEADY: The dictionary defines it as “firmly placed or fixed… free from change, variation or interruption.” And this is quite obviously why the tortoise won the race; he firmly planted his four little feet on the path, and he walked. Steadily. Free from variation. And he won the race!
Scripture also talks about how GOD steadies US.
He steadies when we are weak:
I will steady him with my hand; with my powerful arm I will make him strong. Psalm 89:21
He steadies us when our legs give way:
He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights. He trains my hands for battle; he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow. Psalm 18: 33, 34
He uses other people to steady us when we are in need:
When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. Exodus 17:12
I LOVE THIS! Our GOD is THAT personal and involved with our daily happenings. He wants to steady our focus when we are exasperated. He can steady our patience when our wick has burned out. He will steady our feet when we try to race through life and lose perspective (or forget to ENJOY our families in the midst of schedules and to-do lists). And He brings people, friends, husbands/wives alongside us to steady our arms when we physically cannot hold them up anymore.
You may need a reminder today that you have a God who loves you and cares about the details. You have a God who can and will steady you.
If we take the stature of the tortoise and fix our gaze on the right thing, we won’t get overly caught up in a life of just winning and achieving and being “the best.” We can put our two feet firmly on the path marked for us and press on through the busy work schedule, the emotional teenagers, the colicky babies, or even just the endless housework.
Best news of the day? God Himself IS the epitome of the word “steady.” He is the steadfast one and worthy to be trusted. THAT, my friends, is good news for me as I run this race…
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal. Isaiah 26: 3, 4