"The Hurrier You Go The Behinder you get!" Old Pennsylvania Dutch saying Hurry up turtle you’re right in the way And we’re late for the things we’ve got to do today Turtle turned and he looked But kept plodding along As if to ask “What’s the hurry When this road is so warm?” But I fussed and I fumed and I honked on the horn Till my wife told me I had to slow down and stay calm Then I turned and I saw we had stopped by a nest Of robin’s cheep-cheeping - I had disturbed their rest Then I blushed as I bowed and talked to the Lord So ashamed yet so glad we were stopped on that road For God speaks to us in some unlikely places If we'll slow down and listen instead of off to the races For He shows us His path step by step as we pray And be patient with turtles He has put in our way! Hurry Up Turtle by Peter Caligiuri Copyright 2022 all rights reserved
And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. Luke 4:1-2 KJV
We missed our connecting flight in Chicago once and spent five hours till the next one was available. While my wife was happy to walk around, shop a bit and spend the day content until our flight, I shamefully stomped back and forth around the terminal repeating more times than I would like to recall, “This is stupid! I can’t believe we missed our flight!” Dealing with down time has never been my strong suit though, because God has orchestrated multiple occasions like this in my life I have learned to go with the flow far better than that day in Chicago. Did you ever wonder what Jesus did with all His “down time” during that 6 1/2 weeks in the wilderness? It is easy to fast forward through these verses to get to the action scenes with Jesus crushing Satan by the word of God and heading out of the wilderness to His ministry. But forty days and forty nights is a long time. Of course we can be pretty confident that Jesus spent many hours in prayer, but what else could he have been doing from sunup to sundown?
But maybe Jesus could leave that wilderness in power, not simply because He defeated Satan, but also because He had learned the secret of rest. He had not worried what people thought about Him back in Nazareth, He rested in God’s plan. He didn’t try to start planning the ministry that lay before Him He simply enjoyed the peace and quiet. Maybe Jesus passed time watching birds and heard His Father explain how He cared for them. Maybe He watched seeds sprouting up by a stream in that desert place and saw how tiny beginnings could grow into trees able to bear fruit for hungry travelers. When it was time for breakfast and His stomach growled like every other man’s, maybe He just quietly thanked His Father for the living bread of His word to give Him strength. We will never know till heaven the answer to all these questions but it might be instructive during our next down time, to pause and ask Jesus what He did and then ask Him how to be more like Him during our own time of waiting in the wilderness.
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility, gentleness and patience, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:1-2 ESV
When our cell phone rings, it is common for us to look at the number and decide whether to pick the call, reject it or just let it go to voice mail. But when I was a kid, a phone call was actually quite an event. Our only phone hung on the wall in the kitchen, and if it rang when mom had her hands in the dishwater, she would yell out, “Will somebody answer that please!” Then either my sister or I would run to pick it up. In those days, we couldn’t just say, “Hello!” Instead, we had to begin by saying, “This is the Jones residence; may I help you please?”
The Bible tells us about the most important call of all: the one from God. Some of us may be letting God’s call go through to voice mail because we are afraid of what we think He is planning. We picture being sent off to some scary place overseas or emptying our bank account to help the poor. But we are missing what God’s call is about. Today’s verse tells us that He is far more interested in who we are than in what we do. So, go ahead. Be brave. Pick up the phone because you just may discover that God is calling for us to be humble in how we think of ourselves and gentle in how we treat others. We also may find out He is asking us to be patient when things don’t happen as quickly as we hoped (which is often) and loving forbearance when people fail us. And with all the callings and messages we are hearing it is most important of all to remember that everything God asks of us, He has already done when He picked up His phone and answered our call for mercy!