The first has something to teach us about hard work & perseverance... The two humans and the two horses are riding fast to warn a King of some evil that is about to come his way... galloping fast, but not really fast enough:
"Certainly both horses were doing, if not all they could; all they thought they could, which is not quite the same thing."
It makes me wonder how often *I* think I'm "doing all I can" and if there might be points on which I sell myself short and could be doing more if I was really working all things as unto the Lord (Colossians) and not growing weary in well-doing (Galatians).
And then here's another quote worth hearing- it tells us something maturity and the constant sanctification and growth in the Christian life. After running hard for miles to beat their enemies to a city to warn of attack, nearly watching his companions be killed, and facing a lion, Shasta (one of the human main characters) realizes that he still has not reached their destination, and is faced with yet another job, assigned by an old man he encounters on the way:
"Now, my son waste no time on questions, but obey. This damsel is wounded. Your horses are spent. Rabadash [the enemy he's trying to outrun to the city] is at this moment finding a ford over the [river]. If you run now, without a moment's rest, you will still be in time to warn King Lune."It's true, isn't it? My heart cries out "unfair!" when more work is heaped onto my already full plate. I don't see it as a reward. Bitterness rises.
Shasta's heart fainted at these words for he felt he had no strength left. And he writhed inside at what seemed the cruelty and unfairness of the demand. He had not yet learned that if you do one good deed your reward usually is to be set to do another harder and better one. But all he said out loud was, "Where is the King?"
Or even worse-- when I think I've 'hit' whatever mark/destination I was aiming for, but then I'm asked to go even further. Perhaps there is more learning to do... perhaps the destination changes entirely... perhaps the initial pain/sacrifice was only the down payment on the lessons God has in store to teach you through suffering... regardless, when you think you've spent everything you have, reaching a certain place, and then you're asked to go even farther... goodness, that's tough.
This process of being sanctified to be more like Christ-- I've said it before, and I'll say it again-- it's not for the faint of heart.