Father Roderick of SQPN.com talked about the importance of perseverance recently. He pointed out its applications in diet, exercise, prayer life, etc. I’d like to echo that sentiment with some comments of my own.
As we can all attest, the world tries very hard to pull each of us away from anything that is challenging, difficult and requires discipline. Think about your diet. Is it even possible to watch anything on TV without being bombarded with advertisements for unhealthy food choices? We can’t even go outside now due to the excessive amount of billboard and other advertising showing off the “easy way out” for our diets.
Exercise is very similar, though not attacked nearly as focused as I think our diet is. The attacks on that come in the form of whispers and excuses as part of our continual spiritual battle. Think about how much better you feel when you exercise regularly…aren’t you more capable of doing everything else better, including working on your relationship with God? It would follow then that this activity is one the enemy would want to shake us from as best as possible.
Persevering through prayer is a day to day struggle. Even though we might be consistent after a while, due to it being routine, the strength and depth of that prayer is something we need to continually work for. Similar to exercise, this practice is attacked ferociously by our enemy, for obvious reasons.
In all these things, our ability to better ourselves and continue moving upward comes down to how well we persevere through the discouragement, road-blocks, nay-sayers, etc. All of us will fall, probably quite a bit. The important thing is that we get back up and we try again (the true nature of perseverance). Father Roderick pointed out a very important distinction between failing and quitting. Failing is when you fall, but quitting is when you don’t get back up.
In all things, whether it be diet, exercise, prayer, parenting, work, blogging (yes, I’m guilty of this…notice the delay between posts?), we need to persevere and keep getting back up. We also need to assist our brothers and sisters of our time so that they, too, get back up when they fall. Encouragement is contagious and is paramount to persevering through difficulties.