“Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.” – Anon.
Dictionary definition of perseverance: “persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.”
Admiration for those who persevere is easier to find than people who are willing to keep going. A few discouragements, failures, or “opportunities to try again” can lead to us giving up. Giving up often leaves a sense of regret, of a missed opportunity.
These seagulls taught me a lesson about persistence. The tide was ebbing on a cold morning, and these gulls decided it would be more comfortable out of the water. Gull One was fine. His (or her) breakwater post was above the surface. Gull Two had a struggle. Every time it sat on its chosen perch, the gentle swell came in just high enough to float the gull off again.
Astonishingly, Gull Two kept on trying despite frequent failures- until after quite a time, ambition overtook the tide level and the gull could perch in peace and dry off. As the tide went out, his/her luck came in. Except, of course, it wasn’t luck. It was perseverance– persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay…
Life is often unfair. Life is rarely consistently “easy.” Life-skills are acquired through practice, keeping on, not giving up, persevering. That’s true for almost everything- driving a car, learning an instrument, becoming a brain surgeon. It is also true in our faith and spirituality. Learning to worship, to pray, to obey- these don’t come easy. Yet persistence brings reward. Paul the Apostle gives us the Bible explanation of the value of persevering: Romans 5:3-5 (NLT) “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”
Don’t give up. Keep persisting: it may be hard work, but it’s worth it. And God does help.