perseverance_pays2This week I received a steep assignment from my violin professor. He asked me to have a certain piece of music performance ready and memorized by next week. The piece is three pages long, and exceptionally difficult to memorize. There is no beautiful melody line to easily follow throughout; instead, it is extremely intense in nature, with the notes coming like bullets. You barely have time for a breath!

At first I was tempted to balk at my teacher’s request. I mean really, could I have some grace! But I didn’t. Something my teacher said, caused me to stop and really think. He explained to me, that in life we will always have mountains to face that we absolutely do not want to climb. He said it’s so easy to think, “I don’t want to do this, I don’t want to do this, I don’t want to do this…” But instead, we need to face the reality of life, and have perseverance.

I realized that I have had the wrong picture of perseverance. Previously I would practice a particular piece of music or tackle a certain job until I felt like I had reached my limit. Then I would stop and turn from the obstacle, thinking I had done enough. I was not pushing forward in perseverance, un-relentlessly, until I reached the goal. I’m a Type A Personality, and I like to get up and get the job done. But even Type A Personalities can learn to take shortcuts and quit when the going is rough.

Do Not Grow Weary

In Galatians 6:9, Paul encourages us, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” So when that term paper lies unwritten before you, buckle down and hammer away. When the ceiling-high pile of dishes sits undone on the kitchen counter, press forward through those suds. Do not lose heart when five rows in your vegetable garden are choked with weeds. Persist until the job is done.

And remember that the most important area of life to persevere in, is along that narrow way to the City of God. James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”

So take heart, and persevere. And someday may we meet upon that sea of glass in heaven, and hear the wonderful words from Jesus, “Well done, good and faithful servant… Enter into the joy of your Lord” (Matthew 25:21).