Have you ever heard of the story of the Tortoise and the Hare? Well here’s an alternate story. The hare, the turtle, the elephant and the giraffe decided to enter a race. But this time it’s not a race to see who wins first but more of a marathon. Everybody who reaches the finish line wins. The hare was very fast and soon leaves everyone behind. However, he passes by a field of flowers and was awed by their beauty. He stopped to stare and smell the flowers, and pretty soon he forgot all about the race.
The giraffe passes by and, having a very high line of sight, accidentally kicked the hare. The hare was injured, but he suddenly realized why the giraffe was there. They were running a race and so he returned to the track. The hare was running slower this time because of his injury and he was feeling hungry. He happened to pass by a field of carrots. He told himself, I will dig one, eat and go back to the race. However, the carrot was so good, and he wanted more. So he dug another one, and another one, and was enjoying the carrots so much that he forgot about the race again.
He was lying there eating his carrots when the elephant passed by and didn’t see him. The elephant accidentally stepped on him and since this is a fantasy story, he lived. Now he had more injuries, but he again remembered why he was there. He was in a race and he needed to get back. He trudged along slowly along the track because of his injuries. He felt so hurt and so tired, and upon reaching a comfortable-looking tree, he decided that the race wasn’t worth running. He will just lie down next to the tree and sleep.
While he was sleeping, the turtle crawled slowly by. He saw the hare sleeping and woke him up. The turtle reminded the hare about the race. But the hare didn’t want to wake up. The turtle kept shaking him and pushing him so he would get up. Everything hurts. Even the prodding of the turtle hurts. Finally, the turtle said, look buddy we made it this far. It’s a very short distance to the finish line. The hare thought about it and then he looked. Indeed the finish line was very near. He made it all the way here even when he was hurting so bad. It was difficult but he made it here with his injuries and he can make it all the way to the finish line. So back to the race he did, and he finished.
Upon giving him his reward, the judge said: You are very lucky that you got kicked and stepped on and someone woke you up so you’d get back to the race. You should be joyful!
Think about it. Lucky to get kicked and stepped on!
Remember what James said in chapter 1.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Count it all joy! These trials are meant to produce steadfastness (or endurance). These are what will keep you coming back to the race when you are distracted so that you will reach the finish line. When you do, you will be made perfect and complete.
So when you get kicked or get stepped on by life or when life injures you, count it all joy!