The Path of Perseverance

Let me tell you about the life of a writer. You get rejected. Like, all the time, 24/7, every day. It’s just part of it. I jokingly say I’m a married woman who still feels like she’s in dating relationships because you present your best (to an agent) and then wait by the phone for him to call, wondering if it’s you or if it’s them, if there something you should change (about your work), etc etc etc. You actually get immune to the sting of rejection. It’s just part of the song and dance of being a writer, or any artist, really.

But then there are of THE DAYS.

THE DAYS when you’ve heard “no”‘just one too many times. Those days? It’s hard.

Maybe you’ve had days like that where you’re usually OK, but this particular day you’re just tired. Tired of your best not being good enough. Tired of trying. Tired of trying harder to only be “barely mediocre.” This, my friend, is the face of perseverance. We talk about perseverance in the church like it’s an honorable thing, but, like all honorable things, it is gritty and it is hard. It’s one thing to dust yourself off and try again when you’re feeling spry and able, but to pick yourself up after your 38th fall, still dusty and sweaty from the last falls, isn’t easy and it isn’t fun. But it IS where champions are made. Perseverance is the athlete who is practicing when everyone else has gone home, long after all the cheerleaders have left. Perseverance is continuing that class when you know you’re only going to get a C when you’ve always had straight A’s. Perseverance is giving up your dream of more college to support your growing family and their needs. That’s the thing about this glorified “perseverance” we talk about: it’s not glorious. It’s “hard choices” and “change of plans” and “continuing on” with sweat and blood trickling from your beat-up knuckles- from banging on closed doors for too long. It’s long nights & cry fests, self-doubt and “almost give ups”. It is a journey full of high hills and deep valleys.

But it IS doable. Philippians 3:12-15 encourages us: “I have not yet attained the goal, but one thing I do: forgetting what is behind, I STRAIN on to what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize.” Perhaps you’ve hit some snags in your spiritual life. You’re tired of trying and failing and trying and failing. The good news of this verse is that it implies it is SUPPOSED to be hard. STRAINING is not easy. But do we give up because it is hard? God forbid! Rather, like the athlete, we dust ourselves off and continue on. If you are weary and worn, have peace in knowing that this is part of the journey. It’s what perseverance is all about.

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