Perseverance and endurance are words that we understand cognitively, but have difficulty living out practically. I was inspired by a story of genuine perseverance this morning-you can read it here on one of our missionary's blogs. The woman in this story traveled for six months through difficult physical, financial, and spiritual circumstances to find healing. It would have been easy for her to quit at any time or even to convince herself of failure before beginning the journey. Instead of falling short she persevered and was able to see her hopes fulfilled and her persistence rewarded.
Why don't we have the same drive? We set mediocre goals and then fail to follow through after a few days or weeks. Couples go to counseling to improve their relationship and quickly abandon what they have learned when the 1st real conflict arises. We make a pact with ourselves not to do something again and abandon our commitment for fleeting pleasure. Without endurance we are self-appointed knights flailing at personal dragons with a flimsy sword made from our own weak-willed fortitude.
When the goal we set reflects something that is genuinely important to us, we won't stop just because the journey is difficult. Instead we will constantly remind ourselves of what we are striving towards and wrestle our way through adversity. Not only will we taste success, but our mettle will be strengthened in the endeavor. Our individual character and the character of our relationships will reflect either our lack of effort or our enduring effort.