The opening sentence of a sermon I listened to this am, it struck a deep chord. Often the journey is tough going, and we wonder quite whether we will ever get there. It was a question I pondered with some feeling as I worked my less- than- willing body on the cross trainer. Watching the dial inch towards the set time of the exercise. Perseverance. It is a good word. The dictionary defines it this way:
Continuing in a course of action without regard to discouragement, opposition or previous failure
Someone else described it as “having the courage to ignore the obvious advice to turn back” , which made me smile.
I was in a pensive frame of mind this morning, and the name Cross Trainer also got me thinking. The cross trainer I worked with today, is hard work. It certainly takes perseverance to keep at it. It is doing me good, although it doesn’t often feel that way! Hopefully it is doing a bit of re- shaping too.
There is another kind of Cross Trainer I have been working with for some years now. The Carpenter I follow, knew crosses from a whole different perspective, and He asks me, in following Him, to take up mine. To persevere in this strange old journey of following Him, even when I don’t know where He is going- or perhaps especially when I do!
Perseverance has been a very key word of this more recent bit of the journey towards ordination. Hopefully this Cross Trainer has been re- shaping me too.
The writer of the book of Romans, talked about perseverance producing character and character hope. Hope that does not disappoint.
I like the passage translated this way:
” There is more to come: we continue to shout our praise even when we are hemmed in by troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn, forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we are never left feeling short-changed. Quite the contrary- we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God so generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit! “ Romans 5:3-5 Message
mmm… “passionate patience” … seems we can never have enough of that.