Boast in the Lord
Gently reminding us of good morals using an almost whimsical portrayal of talking animals, Aesop’s fables leave a lasting impression on the minds of young and old alike. One fable in particular, The Tortoise and the Hare, spoke most clearly to me. The moral of this fable, “slow and steady wins the race,” is extremely well known. When I hear that phrase, I think of the Hare, so proud of his advantage over the poor Tortoise, and the shameful end he came to because of this. However, I only spare it a passing thought, and go right back to racing through my life, waiting until the last moment to start something that needs many days of thought and work. I often find myself regretting my delay in beginning school assignments, practicing for a ballet, or preparing songs for our church’s worship team. While reading about the Tortoise and the Hare this week, I realized that this simple story applies to so many areas of my life. Many morals fit this fable, besides the one Aesop chose. The popular phrase “pride comes before a fall” could also serve as a moral, as could the lessons of diligence, humility, and doing everything as though working for the Lord.
I so often feel like the Hare, on top of my game and flying through life without a backward glance. I become proud of all my accomplishments, and boast about them to others and myself. I feel so secure in my place at the top that I let a few things slide, figuring that I deserve a reward for working so hard the day before, and that I can always do it tomorrow. Surely one small thing will not make a difference. However, when I finally wake up, I realize, like the Hare, that the finish line is too far away for me to reach in time to save the race. All my laziness, pride, and boasting catch up to me, and I can only watch, dismayed and ashamed, as others finish the race I could have won so easily. Reading The Tortoise and the Hare this week helped me realize that I need to get my life back in line and focus not on the things I accomplish, but on the One in whom I have the strength to keep going. First Corinthians 1:27, 31 says, “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong… Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” If the Hare had only seen those verses before he started his prideful boasting, the moral of Aesop’s fable could have been very different.
“…I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection…”