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Friday, October 21, 2011

Weekly Snippet: Persistence Results in Growth

Today was an exercise in persistence for me.  I discovered a data entry project that seemed important and therefore urgent.  Little did I know that it would take almost four hours of constant repetitive tweaking (several small changes on each of approximately 100 things) to set it right.  By the half-way point, I was ready to do anything but finish!  The urgency seemed to have faded, and I longed for a shortcut, easy button, or magic wand.  It wasn't just a test in patience; it was a test in persistence.

Patience is the quality of being able wait for something without whining or protesting.  Persistence, on the other hand,  is continuing to try without giving up, even when the cause has gone away.  When it comes to long projects, we have to show patience to wait for the end without complaining, but we have to demonstrate persistence in doing something the right way, as many times as necessary or for as long as it takes.  Both are a mark of maturity.

So how did I fare today?  I think I did every piece of data entry with the same attention to detail as the last, but I will admit to complaining when I started getting tired and my lunch break was delayed.  I'm not there yet, but I'm working on this quality in myself.

Persistence, I see, is not just a good quality in business.  It's an essential part of spiritual growth, too.  We have to demonstrate patience when waiting for God to remove obstacles or answer prayers, but we also have to demonstrate persistence in our relationship with Him.  That means consistently praying, studying the Bible, and worshiping God with the same level of excellence and sincerity at all times.  It means not giving up or losing steam over time, when things seem comfortable, worn, or less exciting than at the beginning.

Persistence.  My word for today.  Can we learn persistence?

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up," (Galatians 6: 9 NIV).