The Tortoise and the Hare
1 Cor 26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not —to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
Do you remember the story of the tortoise and the hare? They embarked on a race, one that seemed unevenly matched and highly weighted in favor of the rabbit. As the race began, the rabbit sped off, but soon lost interest. After all, he had plenty of time to reach the finish line. So he began to frolic and play, and even took a nap along the way. The turtle, however, plodded along, slow but steady, his eyes on the prize and ultimately won the race.
Paul is writing to the Christian church at Corinth around 55 AD. In reading this letter, one might surmise Paul was writing to a pagan church because of the behavior. They were suing each other, engaging in immoral behavior—hardly a beacon of light by which others could follow. Sadly the church had fallen into moral decay. Once again we see the lessons God has taught us throughout history. God chose those who seemed unworthy or unable to complete His calling because of their status in life, not despite it. Why? One reason is very clearly stated here—if there is any boasting it will be in the Lord, not lifting ourselves up for the world to see but lifting Him up.
No one would have expected a turtle to win a race with a rabbit. Likewise, no one expected the Church to survive through the ages. Perhaps you have looked in the mirror and thought, “How can God use me? Why would God choose me?” That’s a good thing! When we recognize that we are unlikely candidates to carry forth God’s message and share His love, then we are being made ready to do just that. We are being transformed into the people who will purpose to finish the race, no matter what obstacles come our way.
PRAYER: Father, we see repeatedly in your Word that it is those who seem the least prepared to be used of you that are the most effective. Through your grace we pray that all semblance of the self-assured and even cocky rabbit would be banished, and in his place would be the temperament and determination of a turtle who, against all odds, not only makes it to the finish line but wins, taking the glory not for ourselves, but always for you. Amen