It seems that all summer long my life revolves around one word.
For the most part, I actually really enjoy having this job.
There is just something so therapeutic about watching the watering can slowly fill up.
I haul it all around the yard and convince myself that this must count as exercise, right?
Unless I have a little person offering to help mommy with this task, I’m usually by myself.
And, standing over the plants, offering them much needed hydration, I relish the quiet.
I do some of my best thinking and praying while I’m watering.
But, on one particular morning, I was in a hurry to just get it done.
It was getting to that point in the late summer when the watering starts to get tedious.
I hurried out the back door, scooped up the watering can and headed for the faucet.
As I crossed the lawn, I noticed a snail working its way across the grass.
Now normally, around our house, snails and slugs are only seen as enemies which must be destroyed lest they destroy our garden.
But, I was feeling benevolent that morning so I left it alone.
And besides, it was heading away from the garden, not towards it!
As I went about my watering routine, I kept checking back to see how the snail was progressing on its trek across our yard.
Every time I glanced over I was surprised by how much farther along it was.
I mean, it was a snail after all. They’re not known for their speed!
If I stood and watched it, it seemed to be moving so slowly.
But, if I went away and came back, the snail seemed to have covered quite an impressive distance… considering it was a snail.
I wondered if it was being intentional about its goal of reaching the bark just beyond the grass. Could it “see” the final destination or did it just know that it needed to keep moving forward.
And, in that moment, I saw myself in that snail.
Now, that is something I never thought I would relate to!
But, there it was, inching its way along.
That snail reminded me of where I am currently on my faith journey.
You see, there are things in life that propel us forward very quickly.
Loss, trauma, tragedy, grief.
When these things occur, we are forced to jump ahead.
We rapidly come to new understandings about God and His plan for our lives.
I have had these kinds of occurrences in my own life.
Things which have caused my faith to grow by leaps and bounds.
They may have been painful, but they certainly contributed to a deeper connection with my Savior.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers (and sisters!), whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking any wisdom.”
But, most of the time, I feel like that snail.
Inching my way along.
In this season of my life, I’ve traded leaps and bounds for something slower…more steady.
Between the peaks and valleys of life there are plateaus.
Times when we aren’t experiencing extreme highs or low.
When we are just dealing with the day in and day out stuff of life.
It doesn’t mean that there isn’t movement, though.
Just like that snail, I continue towards my destination…to be more like Christ.
It seems like I’m moving so slowly and yet if I look back I can see just how far I’ve come.
On this nondescript summer day I found myself rooting for a snail.
As it got closer and closer to the edge of the lawn, I willed it to keep going, keep trying, keep pressing on. I so admired it’s dogged determination.
When it finally made it to the edge of the grass and onto the bark I wanted to let out a cheer!
You did it little snail!
But then, it just kept on going.
Maybe the bark wasn’t the final destination after all.
Maybe the snail knew that the real goal wasn’t so visible….so easily attained.
And so, like that snail, I continue on towards my goal.
There will be more peaks and valleys along the way.
But there will be even more plateaus.
And in those times when it seems like I am only just inching along, I will remember the snail.
“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Thank you so much for joining me for this Simply Sunday at the Fence,
Sharing this here:
Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life says
You are kind to let the snail finish its crossing. I give to the chickens so they don’t eat my plants.
Have a wonderful Sunday.
dominique eichi says
LOvely analogy with our lives. I enjoyed this post very much as I can relate to it but I enjoyed it also for the way you write. Thank you (btw… they are yummy to eat too !! )
Susan (My Place to Yours) says
Vanessa, obviously you and your Creator had a lovely stroll through the yard! There are so many lessons to learn when we slow down and pay attention. From experience, I know that it’s how I spend the slow times that determine how I respond to the situations that rock my world. This was a great “visual” for today. I’m glad you shared it!
What a wonderful and important message. Thank you.
Sarah @ Modern Country Style says
Here’s a little joke for you on the snail theme:
I found a snail in the garden today. I stepped on it and broke its shell. It didn’t die but was looking a little sluggish.
Anyway….on a much better note, I loved this post – thank you!
Yvonne @ StoneGable says
I LOVE this post! I am a snail too… sometimes a slug… but I hope that I am always moving to my final destination… thank goodness Jesus will get me there one way or another!!! Thanks, dear friends!
Beautiful post. Thank you!
Shirley@Housepitality Designs says
Beautiful story Vanessa….something for all of us to ponder…you are a true inspiration!
Vanessa, I enjoyed this so much! Oh, and I can so relate! I am just glad I can run to His shelter or inch slowly, knowing that He is always there! I am enjoying my ‘snail’ position right now…God has brought Rob and me through so much the last six months (and I joke that while we were remodeling our kitchen, God was doing a little remodeling Himself on us!) We are grateful, as the whole process has caused us to slow down and enjoy life more fully and slowly…like that little snail! God is good! Like Dominque, I SO enjoy the way you write…Heather, too! It is a gift! Have you ever thought about this? God says, “Make known among the nations what he has done.” Psalm 105:1 Writing for the Lord on a blog is our way to make known to the nations! Check out the countries that visit your site! I came across this verse and it gave me the encouragement to keep writing! Also, I always pray that each devotion will reach the exact person who needs to hear it that day. So, I encourage you to keep writing, both of you! Have a beautiful, beautiful week! Christie at Three Pixie Lane