When I think of turtles, images from Eric Carle’s books come to mind since I have a toddler and these are on my shelves and in my hands most afternoons before nap time.

If I said the word “turtle” to my husband, I bet you a zillion dollars visions of pecans covered in caramel covered in dark chocolate would immediately come to mind.

We’ve all read it, had it read to us, envisioned it play by play.  I’m not talking about Eric Carle or nuts and chocolate, but instead, “The Tortoise and the Hare.”

Sculpture by Nancy Schon, on display in Boston, MA

And it’s funny how in my own life, on different occasions and varying settings, the story of The Tortoise and the Hare keeps crossing my path.

But I’ve always been a hare.  Good starter.  Up for a challenge.  Fired up energy and especially boastful declarations of certain victory with time to spare.  This mentality is one I’ve coasted on for years, gleaning past strengths as resource energy, sometimes it working seemingly in my favor.

But pride comes before a fall…and I’m the most prideful of all.

I’ve applied this hare mentality to losing weight.  I’ve applied it to prayer.  I’ve applied it to temporary dietary changes, expecting long term lifestyle changes.  I’ve applied it to leadership positions and relationships and solving problems and test-taking and studying and college and more things than naught.

Because the turtle was a schlow-mo.  And schlow-mo is lame-o.  It’s just so…slow.

photo courtesy npr

But turtle is:

  • Intentional
  • Determined
  • Steadfast
  • Diligent
  • Faithful
  • Enduring
  • Consistent
  • Disciplined
  • Strong
  • Focused
  • Persistent
  • Comfortable to be turtle, pressing on, not too slow but steady as she goes, accomplishing much
Recently while taking a Financial Peace University class, Dave Ramsey said he was having dinner with a billionaire and asked him how he made all his money.  The guy said that everything he ever learned about making money he learned from his favorite book.  Dave got a pen in hand to write down the title and author so he could go get his own copy…because Dave doesn’t have enough money?
Anyway, the guy told Dave that he reads the book every chance he gets and loves reading it to his grandkids…
…his favorite book, “The Tortoise and the Hare.”
I have a dear friend whose journey has been modeling this very thing to me.  Her blog is called, “The Girl Who Cried Skinny” and her journey is one to stop crying wolf and to press on towards health through diligence and determination, by walking and making healthy food choices, one day at a time.  Inspiring is just the start of a snowball of words which come to mind to encourage and challenge me not only in the area of taking life and health one choice at a time, but allowing that same turtle discipline to flood the other areas of my life, especially in prayer and studying God’s word.

Hares are:

  • Intense
  • High-strung
  • Fast
  • Jumpy
  • Twitchy
  • Lean
  • Nervous seeming
  • Quick
  • Agile
Did you know the average life span of a hare is 8 to 12 years?

Did you know the average life span of a tortoise is 100 years?
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to slow down and start living my life with intention…because if I remember the story correctly, the tortoise wins.


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