Sometime ago, a family friend shared a funny true-life story with me:
She said that a couple of years ago, there was traffic hold-up. Being compliant drivers, each person that came to that spot waited "patiently" of course wondering what the hold-up was all about. It was interesting that even the person at the front of the hold-up was also waiting "patiently" until shall I say, common sense kicked in. He got out of his car and did something about removing the "road block". Actually it was more than one "road block"...
... so other drivers came to help him - help and hasten the tortoise clan across to the other side by carrying them accross.
Can you imagine that people had sat in their cars for almost half-an-hour waiting for a group of 20 or so tortoises to cross the road? I laughed so hard that tears came out of my eyes. It was simply hilarious. I wonder how those people felt - waiting for a group of tortoises to cross the road - how long would they have actually waited if no-one "took the tortoise by the shell"? Can you imagine one or several of them arriving late for an important meeting /presentation and explaining that: "a group of tortoises crossing the road held me up"? That would have been the tale of the office - well it would have been in my office.
It's all good to laugh about this story but let's break it down some more...
I wonder if that road had any sign to indicate that there was a likelihood of tortoises crossing. Even if there was any such sign, how many people would pay attention to it or even imagine that they would ever be "caught" by it?
Isn't that how it is in life? There are times when people or processes hold us up and rather than try to discover what the cause of the hold up is, we just sit and wait. Whereas, if we just tried, we could move or at least overcome the road block and continue progressing towards or goal. At other times, we may know what a potential hold-up will be but do nothing about it - in those instances, we are the ones holding ourselves up - not others or the process. For instance, where a process requires that we upgrade our skills/education to progress and we do nothing about it expecting a miracle of sorts. Of course, miracles still happen, rules change in our favour but there are some times when God wants us to give Him materials to work with. God expects us to sharpen our axe and He will give us the strength to fell trees and build...the lives we desire for ourselves.
The verse that comes to mind is:Ecc 10:10 Using a dull ax requires great strength, so sharpen the blade. That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed. (New Living Translation)
Be wise...look out for potential hold-ups and be proactive of getting them out of your way so you progress.