Slow and Steady Wins the Race

📅 October 17, 2020

I am by nature a plodder. School did not necessarily come easy for me. I was a good reader and eventually became a good writer, but science and math challenged me throughout my academic career.

I also tend toward being organized and orderly, and like things “straight,” and “straightening,” of necessity, requires time and precision, no matter what the venue.

Although, when people who know my parents meet me, they observe, “You look just like your mother,” and I certainly sound like her; in reality, I am a carbon copy of my father in temperament and outlook, so much so that my mother has long referred to me as “Carlena.”

So as I discuss today’s slogan, let me state I am fully aware a tendency toward haste, rather than the ability to wait for life to unfold and wait for opportunities to present themselves, can indeed be an inborn trait.

Some people simply are possessed of calmer dispositions than others. Some people can delay gratification, wait for the time or money they need for a project, wait on other people to improve, or come around to agreeing with their point of view.

And some people, more driven, must carry out their plans immediately, and have problems solved now…the sooner the better.

Some tasks have to be completed on time or in a timeframe. For instance, once your children start school, you set your eyes on the goal of making sure they pass whatever grade they are in, and move up with their peers to the next grade.

Graduating with the class you “started with” is of key importance and should be.

When the student reaches college, however, the rules change somewhat. According to different programs of study and financial viability, a student may have to take a lighter load and take five years (or longer) to graduate.

My M.A. degree in European history, which I began in 1991, took me seven years to complete, being, as I was, the mother of three busy children, and teaching full-time myself.

But I plodded through and it paid off, the result being the same as if I had finished in one year or two.  

In these days, as you are well aware, everything, but everything, is instantaneous. At the press of a button, we can communicate with anyone anywhere in the world.

Within seconds, we can heat up a meal.

Don’t want to wait on a whole pot of coffee to appear in the pot? Fix one cup in a Keurig.

Nevertheless, “Haste” does indeed “make waste.”

We have all experienced the misery of rushing through a task only to bungle or make mistakes and have to go back and start over.

That’s a best case scenario. Sometimes starting over isn’t possible.

One of the positive aspects of our recent quarantine experience, some people have said, is that it forced them to slow down, spend more time with their families, start on projects, or enjoy hobbies.

“Take time to smell the roses,” as they saying goes.  

I was curious to see what the Bible said about this truth and was interested to find the word “haste” used over a hundred times.

David was, of course, often “in haste” in his flight from Saul. I Samuel 23: 26

Abigail hasted to stop David from killing her foolish husband Nabal. I Samuel 25: 42

The dastardly Haman “hasted” to his house when his evil plan was uncovered. Esther 6:12

Nebuchadnezzar hasted to see if Daniel had survived the night in the lion’s den. Daniel 6:19

The shepherds hasted to see the newborn King in the manger. Luke 2:16

Zacchaeus hasted down from his tree when Jesus called him. Luke 19:5

Do you know who, in the pages of the Bible, was never said to have been in haste?

Who always had time to minister to people, to stop and listen, to stop and help, to carry out a ministry … “I must walk today and tomorrow and the day following” Luke 13:33…ever pressing toward the purpose for which He had come to earth to dwell among us?

Yes. Jesus.

Try to find a instance when He was observed to be in a hurry.

Perhaps you think it is impossible for you to slow down. Perhaps the race ahead of you is so daunting, you dare not tell your feet they can stop pounding. Perhaps you must make a deadline.

But remember: you don’t have to be first or best or even receive the praise of men because you finish brilliantly and ahead of everyone else.

You cannot sum it up better than this:

Let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1

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Holly Bebernitz

Native Texan Holly Bebernitz moved to Jacksonville, Florida in 1967. After thirty years of teaching speech, English, and history on the secondary and college levels, she retired from classroom teaching to become a full-time grandmother. The change in schedule allowed the time needed to complete the novel she had begun writing in 1998. When Trevorode the Defender was published in March 2013, the author realized the story of the Magnolia Arms was not yet complete.