I Peter Chapter 6 has a list of character traits that we should give attention to. It states clearly that one builds on another till we are complete and we are effective and productive servants of the Lord. Somewhere in the middle is perseverance.
Perseverance? I thought the Constitution guaranteed we wouldn’t need perseverance. No? Maybe the Declaration of Independence. The Apostle’s Creed. That’s it. The Apostle’s Creed.
Perseverance is helpful sometimes. Like on 30 Rock. Sometimes 30 Rock is like somebody you meet at a party who insists on telling a long boring joke. I persevere on 30 Rock because a lot of the time the punch line is so great that the boring part is worth it. You never know till the last five minutes. The last episode was like that but you had to get through most of an hour to get to the punch line.
Of course we have to persevere through more than inane comedy don’t we? Sickness, financial setbacks, relationship upsets. Our enemy doesn’t want us to get to the punch line. It seems to me the greater the payoff that’s coming, the bigger the obstacles he puts in our path. If I hadn’t stuck with it for fifty-five minutes I wouldn’t have got to hear Jack Donaghy drive a stake into the heart of Alec Baldwin’s career. And if I give up I won’t get to see God do in my life what He wants to do.
Perseverance has a cousin. Her name is persistence. Where perseverance has a connotation of sit tight and hold on, persistence is more like ‘keep on doing what you’re doing’. Reminds me of the song High Hopes. The picture stuck in my head is the one of the silly old ram buttin’ his head against that dam. Oops there goes a billion kilowatt dam. Perseverance is necessary if we are to reach the prize, especially when it’s married to persistence.
Next up, perspicacious. What does it mean? Can we use it in a sentence? Who the heck uses a word like that anyway?