Do you remember the story of the Turtle and the Hare? There’s a turtle and a hare who go on a race, the turtle being slow and the hare quick in his pace. The hare thinks he has the turtle beat, so he stops for a nap, letting the turtle win, with his little four feet.
Well, sometimes I can be like the hare. I get a big idea and try to jump 50 feet into the future, skipping a bunch of steps along the way.
I think, "I can do this!" And I run, jump, and charge my way forward.
Quickly, I learn I need to slow my pace, take a step back, look at the big picture, and prayerfully discern each step to take.
I can get easily discouraged or distracted in this phase because I’ll look at what other people are accomplishing and think “See! Why can’t I do that!”
But looking to the left and right when I’m running a race will only slow me down. All I need to do is just pray and step. Pray and step. Pray and step.
I imagine Joshua knew a thing or two about this. Do you know before he was ever the leader of the Israelites or led them to victory, he was an assistant? He didn't start out glamorous or with thousands of social media followers. He started out hidden, behind the scenes, and with small steps toward leadership.
Joshua knew all about small beginnings. He knew all about praying and stepping.
I wonder if he had hopes and dreams like you and me.
Maybe he saw himself leading the Israelites one day. Maybe he saw himself defeating giants. Maybe he peered into the future and saw those walls crashing down.
Even so, he waited until his appointed time to take his place as leader. He never went ahead of God. He never tried to undermine Moses. He prayed and stepped...and assisted Moses as he was needed. He stayed in his place. All those years were not wasted but exactly what he needed to grow into the leader who would one day lead the Israelites into victory after victory.
Joshua is one of the greatest leaders in the Bible. He prayed and the sun stood still. He won 13 battles. He saw the Angel of the Lord. If he can be an assistant for 40 years, I suppose it wouldn’t hurt us to wait a little longer either.
What are you praying and waiting for today? What dreams are you hoping to see come to pass? Rather than skipping ahead 50 feet in the future, taking shortcuts to get there, or rushing ahead of God - pause. Take your time. Don't be afraid to be unseen, behind the scenes, or be like the turtle who went at his own pace. He did, after all, win the race.