Marathon (7): Persevere

Perseverance is highly underrated.  

I sometimes wonder if more than a few leaders who quit were one step away from a breakthrough right before they stepped back.  The temptation to quit is always strongest right before the critical breakthrough. 

To be honest with you, I think one of the reasons I’m still able to lead in ministry today is simply because I didn’t quit.  I know that doesn’t sound very spiritual or very profound, but I think it’s true.  There have been whole seasons where my spiritual journey felt as flat and dead as it gets.  I didn’t stick with Christ because I felt like it.  In fact, my emotional condition felt like the opposite of Jesus. I just didn’t quit.  I still believed the Gospel was true, so I just persevered. 

We’ve all seen people who have stubbornly clung to bad ideas and causes – I’m not talking about that.  I’m talking about sticking with what you and others know to be true and right even when everything else in you wants to run screaming in the other direction. 

Perseverance is a spiritual discipline and a virtue.  Paul commends it.  He, Jesus and many others in scripture lived it out.  I just in a world where everything is instant and catered to satisfy personal whims, perseverance has fallen on hard times. 

What amazes me is that if you persevere in the right things, the emotions eventually catch up with your behaviour.  You begin to feel good about what you at one time only could imagine was good.  

Perseverance can make tough marriages great, difficult start ups profitable, and friendships awesome.  Perseverance can make faith real.

So that’s it for this Marathon blog series – seven practices that have helped me run at least fifteen years of this marathon.  I hope there’s at least double that left to go. 

As we wrap up this seven part series, two question:

  • How has perseverance (or the need for it) impacted you?
  • Which of the seven spiritual practices spoke to you most deeply?  Why? 

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