Sunday, January 11, 2009

Persistence Pays Off


I still remember the moment with remarkable clarity: Todd Jordan catching the ball on about the five yard line and running into the end zone. We scored six points and beat the team from Amherst, Texas. Those six points were all the points we scored that season.

That moment defined my seventh grade football season. One score, one win, nothing more. But, my teammates and I kept at it and did not give up. Over the next five seasons, until the year I graduated from high school, we did not have a losing season in football. Over the next five seasons we went 8-2, 6-5, 11-3, 7-4, and 6-5.

Persistence pays off. This is true in so many ways. It is often seen in athletics. It can be realized in so many areas of life. Keep at something long enough and, with enough passion and focus, satisfying results will be enjoyed.

Persistence is the ally of parents. Tell a child only once what he should hear and chances are he will not learn, but tell a child repeatedly what is right and wrong and education will take place.

Persistence is the ally of students. Spend five minutes a night studying and the grades will reflect the lack of effort, but spend hours reading and researching and discovering and a subject becomes matered.

Persistence is the ally of the faithful. Devote an hour or two here and there to the worship and service of God and behaviors and values remain largely unaffected, but devote a lifetime and a lifestyle and one becomes transformed into an image of the One who is worshipped.

Results are not always immediate. It took my team ten games before a score was made and a victory enjoyed. It may take many years before a parent knows what type of man a boy will becomes. It may take months before a astudent is aware of what she has learned. A lifetime may pass before the value of a life lived in faith is fully understood.

Patience is a virtue of the wise. Patience is not made of inaction and passively awaiting results. Patience implies action with the understanding that a lot of effort may need to be extended before a reqward is found.

So, for those of us who have not yet scored a point: be persistent, keep up the good work, and have faith that victory is within sight.