"...The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happens to them all.” Ecclesiastes 9:11
Recently, I read a quote that said, “Experience is the best teacher, but a hard grader. She gives the test first, the lesson later.” It is a profound statement from Larry Dierker, a former Manager of the Houston Astros baseball team.
Life experience is like having a road map with a secret shortcut. The only problem is, sometimes, God places a detour on the route without telling you! The detours are added so that we can learn that, no two events in our life are the same. The experiences of the past can indicate future outcomes; however, they are not the future. You can do all things the same way, yet have different results; because, people, events, circumstances, and, even you are not the same from day to day.
Remember the story of The Tortoise and The Hare? The hare knew he was faster, sleeker, and more adept at running a race against the tortoise. He laughed at the very notion that a tortoise would have the audacity to challenge him to a race. After all, he was used to running from hawks, eagles, and other very adept predators. So, instead of training and developing his skills for the big race, he became a “slacker,” relaxing —taking his racing skills for granted. While he sat unfocused, procrastinating, and relying on his previous knowledge of racing, the slower, more focused, steady-paced tortoise walked; yes, w-a-l-k-e-d across the finish line. What a lesson for the hare! What an even bigger lesson for the tortoise!
As we can imagine, the tortoise was ridiculed by both the other animals and his peers. And, we can be sure he wanted to give up many times, knowing in his heart he could not possibly win a race against the hare. But, somehow he kept moving; faithfully, one step at a time, keeping his eyes on the finish line and not on the ridiculers perched on the sidelines. By taking the risk and keeping the faith, he was able to fulfill his destiny, ambling across the finish line at his very own pace.
Past experience is a good road map, it allows you to save time by building on the learned lessons of the past; but, don't forget that life is an evolutionary experience; like a beautiful origami pattern, God unfolds it as you go along. L.
Study Reference: Ecclesiastes 9:10-12
Excerpt from: "The Tortoise and The Hare." In The Master's Hands: 365 Daily Devotions For Everyday Living.
Copyright © 2014 by Lavona E. Campbell
photo: Twipz Biswas