Over at Little House on the Circle, Jeannie Prinsen recently provided a wonderful excerpt from E.B. White’s Stuart Little, where Stuart meets a telephone lineman who talks of his many years on the road, the miles he’s traveled and all he’s found, including “fields bordered by crooked fences broken by years of standing still”. He says that he discovered over the years that moving slowly through life is best because “a person who is looking for something doesn’t travel very fast.”
I read those lines and I thought about those crooked fences. They didn’t break because they sped along too fast and crashed into something. They broke from lack of movement, from “years of standing still.”
Standing still for too long hurts people as well. In fact, we can find ourselves stuck that way if we aren’t careful. There’s a way out, though.
I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. (Psalm 40:1-2.)
In fact, God’s the only way out of our predicament because without him we are not just stuck in the mud. We’re dead. You don’t get any more still and unmoving than dead. But with God, we don’t stay that way.
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. (Colossians 2:13.)
So now that we are alive, we should do what living people do: move. In fact, we should run!
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. (Hebrews 12:1-2.)
Keep in mind too that this is a life-long race, over a long distance and not subject to much sprinting – although I’ve found that happens once in a while. The race provides its rest breaks, of course. But one thing it doesn’t provide for is years of standing still. We are to move forward, ever forward to the finish line.
Staying in the race – finishing the race – is, happily, not up to us but up to God, for God himself is the one who keeps us moving toward him.
He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6.)
As we keep our eyes on Jesus, he leads us to himself and the glory of God’s heavenly presence.
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:6-7.)
Isn’t that a great reason to get up and get moving?