“And the turtles, of course…all the turtles are free, as turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be.” (Dr. Seuss)
In the tale of the Tortoise and the Hare, I am the Hare. In fact, my daughter calls me the EstherGizer Bunny. I move at break-neck speed much of the time: my brain, my feet, my hands, my heart and my mouth. When I was a young mom, our elderly neighbor, and whom my young children called “Grandma,” said to me, “I watch you out of the window heading to your car and I don’t think your feet ever really touch the sidewalk.”
I was wiggly, energetic, smart and super-speedy as a kid. I did my first three grades in two years and then skipped right over fourth grade, landing me in fifth grade when I was just eight years old. Break-neck speed. “Can’t sit still.” Lots of childhood memories of those words from the adults around me.
I’m a fast thinker, typer, talker, mover, decision-maker. Probably most of the reason I have tended to be on the thin side during my life is that every cell of my body is wiggling. Other people get tired thinking about what I do during a day. You get the picture.
For some reason, though, I have always loved turtles. I was fondly known as the “turtle rescuer” for quite some time. I loved “helping “ them get where they needed to be. After all, I am much speedier than they are. (SIDENOTE: If you find a turtle in the road, move them in the direction they were heading. Never turn them around. The turtle is on a mission, and if you turn it around, it will simply go back across the road when you drive away. —the Turtle Rescue League)
Little did I know, in my young and “rescuing” years, that turtles didn’t really need my help. I needed their help. I loved the Turtle in that tale I mentioned. I remember the moral of the fable so clearly: “Slow and steady wins the race.” But I am not slow and steady. I am fast and wobbly. Why does he win? Doesn’t the fastest always win? However, somewhere deep in my heart, I knew this was profound truth.
Several years ago, I began to read an author by the name of Dallas Willard. I actually heard him speak not too long before he went to be with His Savior. He seemed kind of “turtley” to me. Slow and steady. In fact, deeply steady. “Why is he like this? What does he have that I don’t have? I want this.” As I got to know him better through his writings and videos, I found that he only had one piece of advice for those who would ask him: “Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”
Slowly (intended thought) I have found, even though I don’t act on it nearly enough, that my very well-being (emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental), depends on following his prescription. Stay-tuned for more on this in the future.
But for now, go with the slow. Be a little more turtley! As they said in one of my all-time favorite movies, The Master of Disguise, and I ask myself on many days, “Are you turtley enough for the turtle club?” (Click HERE for quick look at the movie clip and a good laugh!)
Are you a turtle or a hare? Would love you to just write a one-word answer below letting me know. I don’t mind being a hare, but I certainly want to be a hare that has learned the lessons of a turtle. Maybe a turtley hare!