Pastor’s Corner – September 2014

Jim Mann

The Hare was once boasting of his speed before the other animals. “I have never yet been beaten,” said he, “when I put forth my full speed. I challenge anyone here to race with me.”

The Tortoise said quietly, “I accept your challenge.”

“That is a good joke,” said the Hare, “I could dance round you all the way.”

“Keep your boasting till you’ve won,” answered the Tortoise. “Shall we race?”

So a course was fixed, and a start was made. The Hare darted almost out of sight at once but soon stopped, and to show his contempt for the Tortoise, lay down to have a nap. The Tortoise plodded on and plodded on, and when the Hare awoke from his nap, he saw the Tortoise just near the winning post and could not run up in time to save the race.

Then the Tortoise said, “Slow but steady progress wins the race.”

Aesop’s famous fable teaches a principle described by the psalmist in Psalm 128: finishing the race of life is what matters most. “Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways (Psalm 128:1, NIV).” Then for the remainder of the psalm he describes those blessings.

He’s not describing overnight success, getting rich quick, or a meteoric rise in fame. He’s talking about slow and steady winning the race. There will be blessings at work, prosperity and enjoying the fruit of one’s labors (v. 2). There will be blessings at home with wife and children…even children’s children (vv. 3, 6). “Thus is the man blessed who fears the LORD (Psalm 128:4, NIV).”

The psalmist describes these blessings as a natural byproduct of life with God. When a man walks with God in “fear” (that is honoring him and his Word), these blessings simply “happen.” But even more exciting, the blessed man shares these blessings with others. Because we are connected to others, our blessings are often transferred to others as well: employee, employer, wife, children, grandchildren.

The Psalm ends with the prayer: “…may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem. Peace be upon Israel (Psalm 128:5-6, NIV).” Apparently when enough of us walk in the fear of the Lord, God’s blessings can spread to an entire nation.

H.H. Farmer said, “If you go against the grain of the universe you get splinters.” The psalmist might say: God’s way is natural and plain – so walk in it. Go God’s way and receive his blessing. Walk in it long enough and you’ll see that blessing expand to others through you: family, friends, church, city, even nation.

Jim Mann, Ph.D. pastors New Life Church at Robson Ranch, which meets at the Robson clubhouse on Sunday mornings at 8:30 a.m. Visit for more information.