6. The Art of Perseverance
I don’t know about you, but one thing that’s frustrating to be around other people’s kids is when their parents insist on solving all of their problems for the kids. The kids try to solve a problem, and parents jump in to solve it for them. I see a lot of kids these days who’ve been made to believe that things are far too difficult to figure out for themselves. We don’t make kids (or ourselves, sometimes) persevere through a problem. I personally grew up with a mentality of “figure it out”. We had to. I’m thankful that I never had parents that did my work for me, because it taught me that I had the confidence to be independent.
We all know how good it feels to solve a problem, especially when we’ve been trying for so long to solve it. One of the most trying things I’ve ever done was to raise tens of thousands of dollars on my own so that I could volunteer at a youth center overseas. It took 1 whole year of busting my butt to raise this money. I didn’t realize, until I finally stepped off the plane in Slovakia, how incredibly happy I was–and I wouldn’t have been as thankful if I didn’t have to raise the money. I sweat and bled and cried for this chance to work there—and that’s what made all the difference.
Ask any runner out there how it feels to push through a marathon, or how it feels for us normal people to get through that 30 stupid minutes on the stupid treadmill. It feels good!
Walter Elliot said, “Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.” Perseverance is constant problem solving; it’s waking up every morning at 6 when all you want to do is sleep, it’s working that stupid job when all you want to do is quit. But it only works when you have your goal in mind. So, what’s your goal? What are you sacrificing to get to your goal?
“We rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:3-4