Remember the story of the turtle and the hare. I remember. The turtle was known as the slow-poke, while the hare was fast. During a race the hare felt he had a lot of time, so he stopped to play, then later took a nap, since the turtle was slow, there was no way the turtle would win, he thought. If you read this story, you know how it ends. The turtle wins the race.
It’s funny because many of us can relate to the hare in the story, overconfident, and because of this we have detoured.
The turtle stayed on the path and kept on going, not worried about the hare, he was determined to finish the race.
These days we want things completed faster and easier than ever before. No time to waste…the quicker the better. So what do we do? We find ways to cut corners! We want to walk on the path with less resistance. The ones with less pain and fewer disappointments, not realizing we are cheating.
We are cheating ourselves from the life we are supposed to have to fulfill our desires. We are cheating the people in our lives that are supposed to benefit from our blessings.
But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it. – Matthew 7:14
This morning I was reading the temptation of Jesus. How many of us would have given into the temptation of fresh bread while you have fasted for 40 days? Yes, Jesus is God, but He was also fully man. Or to take the opportunity to gain the power of the world? These are temptations we face every day in different forms.
I know it is easy to detour. But I believe God is saying, time to get back on the right path. No more detouring. No more taking naps. Jesus said to his disciples in the garden of Gethsemane, “can’t you stay up and pray for one hour?” … “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
I believe if the disciples were up praying, Peter won’t have cut off the servant’s ear. The reaction to the arrest of Jesus would have been a different one because they would have been walking by the spirit.
“Put away your sword,” Jesus told him. “Those who use the sword will die by the sword. – Matthew 26:52
Peter started to walk down a different path than the path he was trained to walk down. During the heat of the moment, he felt he had no other choice but to fight back, so off came the ear!
Jesus understood his path. He knew what he came to do and he was determined to stay on it.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free,
and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come. – Luke 4:18-19
If Jesus had detoured from His path, we would all be dead in our sins.
Every experience you have on your path of life is preparation to help someone else.
None of us knows what we will find on our path, but we need to stick to it. There are people on our path waiting for healing, help, encouragement and deliverance. If we detour, they will miss out. Think about that for a moment… Someone is on your path waiting for healing, and God is preparing you now, for when you come across them on your path.
God uses us to help people, we are His hands and feet on earth. Our lives are not our own. Jesus came to serve and that’s what we are called to do as well. God will use our lives to bless others. Coming off our paths is actually affecting others. It’s ok if you are slow like the turtle, just don’t stop moving.