The Gospel According To Stuart Little

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 becausea 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?

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8 Responses to The Gospel According To Stuart Little

  1. Aimee Byrd says:

    Just got off the phone with my 85-year-old grandma who can’t do as much moving as she’d like due to congestive heart failure. It really makes you think about how we take our vitality for granted. We should run while we are still in the race toward the One who wen t before us–Amen!

  2. Kathleen says:

    Thanks, Tim! Dealing with poor health issues over here that are keeping the sufferer from the physical activities he enjoyed. Yet, while our bodies may not allow the running, our spirits must still be trained and participate in the race, otherwise they wind up as those crooked fences. Good stuff, thanks again!

  3. Jeannie says:

    I’m so glad you wrote this post, Tim! Your Scriptural applications are great. I thought of another passage too, Isaiah 40:31: “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

    Some of us are at the soaring stage in life. Others of us are running. Others are walking. But God is always there to strengthen and empower us — “from life’s first cry to final breath,” as I quoted earlier this week.

  4. Tim your post reminds me that to be comfortable for too long is dangerous. It’s a good decision-making prompt as I stand at the threshold of something new and think, “Is this something I should step into?” Very timely prompt indeed – thank you!

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