Tuesday, May 01, 2007

IOW--at a Snail's Pace

"By perseverance the snail reached the ark."
~ Charles Spurgeon ~

We had an object lesson in on our doorstep last Thursday evening. A snail was steadfastly making its way from our flower bed to our front door as German arrived home from work. He called the girls out to see it. They marveled at how it propelled its body and its shell. They worried that it was going to fall into the 1/2 inch "abyss" created by the space between paving stones--and were delighted to watch it stretch its body out of the shell enough to reach the other side then pull the rest behind. And then Flower got worried that it was going to get into the house and started to make a scene. German assured her that even if it made it to the door, it was slow enough that we could close the door before it entered. She was reassured and happily went back to watching it leave a trail on my front porch. Little did I know that the next day Iris would choose a quote about the snail, and send my mind back to that moment.

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It was the steadfastness and perseverence that propelled the snail toward its goal. It has made its home around the corner on the side of the house--why I don't know--but the girls don't want me to remove it. It may have been slow, but it continued to move forward. To make a rather irreverent jump, its journey somewhat illustrates the act of friendship evangelism. We have friends who God has clearly laid on our hearts as people He desires to know Him. And they have no interest whatsoever. It feels like it is slow-going. Somedays, it feels like we are stretching our necks out--vulnerable--as we seek to be an example in their life. Other days I am sure we will fall into the abyss of their lifestyle if we are not totally vigilant. But this is where God calls us to be, and we must persevere. God does not call us to be responsible for the result. He calls us to represent Him to them. There are days I am frustrated because it would be so much easier to just present a 4-step Gospel message and be on my way. But they aren't ready for that. God says walk this slow path of just being their friend, living your faith, and giving God credit for what happens in our lives. He says "let them see Me and how I keep you from the abyss." He says, "Persevere in love, I'll do the rest."

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 1 Corinthians 13:6-8

Spurgeons's snail may have been slow, but its journey led to the ark. My snail may have been slow, but its journey led to a perch on the house. Slow as my journey may seem, I believe that the journey leads my friends to the cross. And so I do persevere.

When I called, you answered me;
you made me bold and stouthearted.
The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me;
your love, O LORD, endures forever—
do not abandon the works of your hands. Psalm 138: 3, 8

Lord, give me the patience to persevere with my friends. May the life I live in front of them reflect you. May the words I say glorify you. And may this journey end at the foot of the cross for them. Amen.

Iris is our hostess for In Other Words this week. Please join us here with your reflection or to read others' reflections.

photo credit: ariadna at www.morguefile.com


Denise said...

So very lovely, thanks for sharing.

Dana said...

How fitting to see the snail on its journey home as we too are on a journey with God to our eternal homes. Sometimes it seems so slow, but this race is worth running - even at a snails pace. Thank you so much for this beautiful post.

Tami Boesiger said...

Hmmm. . .interesting jump to leading our friends to Christ. You got my wheels spinning.

eph2810 said...

You are so right, Miriam. The best way for some is to walk the walk and not just do the talk (sharing Gospel tracks) to lead other into His presence. I am sure some days it is frustrating, but I know that He will continue to give you the strength to see this journey through. Your friends are so blessed to have you in their life.
Thank you so much for sharing your take on this week's quote.
Blessings to you and yours.

Sharon said...

Oh how I understand the slowness of friendship evangelism. This was a great picture and it reminds me to continue to be persistent. I have some friendships that could use a little refreshing of the original burden given to me by God.

Pearls of Wisdom said...

Thank you so much for sharing. I love your post. Thank you for the reminder about being persistent about the Lord with our friend.

Angel (Angel Mama Pearls of Wisdom)

Terri @ In His Hands said...

Your post spoke to me as I was second-guessing blogging about my trials but as you pointed out, it's important to share with others how God pulls us through.


Heather said...

You know, as I read these I realized that if that snail had goten even slightly off track (being so small that ark must have seemed awfully far away) he could have missed it entirely. How vareful we must be in our pereseverence that we are headed in the right direction.

Rosemarie said...

"God does not call us to be responsible for the result. He calls us to represent Him to them."

Thank you for confirmation of goin' through for Jesus!

God has used these quotes as a learning tool while each of us draws from our own personal journey and lessons learned to share more about His character and the Kingdom principles. I'm blessed to be a part of this Christian community of bloggers. PTL!

"Pearls of wisdom...a heavenly voice."

Nise' said...

Thanks for the reminder that I had people patiently waiting for me to arrive even when I was an obnoxious middle schooler, I need to do the same with those that are slowly making their way to the cross. He calls me to love and represent Him to them.

Jenny said...

I loved the verbal illustration you drew using your familiy's experience with the snail. I could just imagine a little girl worrying that the snail might make it into the house before you could get the door shut :)

Amydeanne said...

your prayer is mine! Amen!!!

Bonnie W said...

I love God's object lessons! Thanks for sharing

Nana Cheryl said...

God's timing is always perfect!! I love it when He brings little things into our lives that let us know He is right there with us. What a wonderful illustration. :o)

Gretchen said...

What a lovely post and prayer. I share the prayer! Thanks!

Pixilated Mum said...

Thanks for the thoughtful post. It's especially a good read considering how we're so apt to run, run, run and get weary. This post reminded me of the Scripture about running and not growing weary. That's the part that can sometimes be difficult: consistency.

Good food for thought.

Bernadine said...

Isn't it amazing the things God will use to teach his children a lesson? Thanks for sharing such a lovely post.
God bless