Joy Comes from Perseverance | Shelia Walsh
One of the most important lessons I have learned in my own life is the joy that comes from perseverance. Eugene Peterson, borrowing a phrase from Friedrich Nietzsche, wrote his book “A Long Obedience in the Same Direction …Discipleship in an Instant Society.” He points to the Psalms as the way believers have always learned to pray what they live and live what they pray but it is not a short journey. It is an intentional commitment to keep walking even when you are worn out.
*If we want to see lasting results in any area of life it’s important to keep walking in that direction.
*If we want to have a better understanding of the Gospel of John then it takes time and commitment to dig deeper day after day.
*If we want to be thinner this summer than last summer then the work begins now not then.
So too in our relationship with Christ…..
*If we want to know Him at a more profoundly intimate level, that also takes an intentional seeking after Him every day.
As a grown woman I have come to love the beauty of this gift. Passing this “mined treasure” onto my son on the other hand has been an interesting challenge. We live in such a fast paced, attention-challenged culture where the latest thing can be delivered to your doorstep by tomorrow for a few dollars more. But, as you know, by the time it is delivered it has already been replaced or updated!
How do we speak then into the lives of our children to help them understand and value perseverance?
For me…part of the puzzle meant a large piece of poster board, scissors, some photos and a bottle of Elmer’s glue. My son, Christian and I spread everything out on a sheet in the game room as I explained our project. “We’re going to make a family faith-tree,” I said. “These are photos of family on your dad’s side and on mine. Many of them have gone on to be with Jesus but the seeds they planted into our family continue to grow.” Then we wrote down their names and when they came to faith in Christ (as many as I knew). It was quite something to see when we were finished.
“Your life matters Christian. Running your race well matters.”
That night we read these words from the writer to the Hebrews,
“We are surrounded by a great cloud of people whose lives tell us what faith means. So let us run the race that is before us and never give up.”
Hebrews 12:1 (NCV)