But I think persistence may be one of the most urgent skill sets needed today. From Instagram to YouTube we want it now! We think we deserve everything we want, and we deserve it NOW. It seems like everyone is throwing a temper tantrum! It is exhausting.
I have long believed that every truly good thing in my life requires work. Some classes may be easier than others, but learning does not happen with the crew of the Starship Enterprise finding the robot hat that allows a clerk to do brain surgery. It happens because we are willing to (1) acknowledge that there might be something worthwhile that we don't know; (2) listen, read and watch/do to begin developing a base of knowledge/skills. (3) Continue doing, learning, practicing so we can continue to grow in proficiency.
All of life is about learning, from financial basics of how to take care of ourselves, to job skills, to how to play nicely with others, to growing in our relationship with God. Always one day builds on the one before. We can become wiser by considering the actions and choices and assumptions that got us into trouble and, thereby, become more proficient at avoiding at least that particular mistake. We can try new things, and practice, practice, practice and gain skills and knowledge.
But it does not happen instantly, just because we want it or demand it or think we deserve it -- instantly.
Life is hard work, but it is so worth it. When a family has been persistent about helping a family member recover from a serious injury, everybody gets to rejoice. When a marriage has been under stress and both husband and wife have worked to grow in maturity, understanding, trust and mercy so that they can be best buddies and be champions of their children, everybody wins. When the home health care nurse works with a family to care for a beloved grandparent or parent, everyone is blessed. And sometimes I think the blessing is in direct relationship with the amount that a person has freely given to the process.
In our personal journey some folks have to work harder to learn to read or play the piano or improve their batting average, but each time they accomplish a new level of proficiency they are encouraged to persist either by continuing to work that area or to work on a new area that is important to them even though it is challenging. This kind of success is an encouragement to try more, try harder, try something new.
Just for today, let us all be gentle in helping another persist or in persisting ourselves even though we feel we have tried hard enough, given enough, done enough. Just for today I ask God: help me go another inch, another 5 minutes, one more moment of patience and persistence doing that tough stuff for those I love and for my own good. AMEN.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Gal. 6:9