Sometimes the hardest part of the trail is simply the sheer length of it. Thus, trail tip #10:
Trail Tip #10 - Persevere
What long stretch of trail are you on right now? Sure, you may be navigating a steep incline today or a rocky patch this week. But you're probably also enduring a seemingly never-ending stretch of some sort as well.
You could be walking the long stretch of:
- raising toddlers, one child after another...enduring the tedium of potty training, wiping hands and mouths, changing diapers, washing tiny socks, changing more diapers, wiping more hands...
- navigating doctors appointments and treatments, with a child with special needs, a husband with a chronic condition, a parent who is aging and frail, your own health crisis...
- trying to get out of debt, one paycheck at a time, one credit card paid off at a time, one creditor at a time, one savings goal at a time, one penny at a time...
- raising teenagers, through slamming doors, stomping off feet, emotional tantrums, not speaking, texting, driving lessons, dating questions, silly antics, college applications, band practice, play rehearsals, more texting, Facebook, relationship problems, oh my!
- finishing a degree, eventually, after juggling classes with work and family and responsibilities, papers, assignments, late nights, long reading assignments, is it really worth it? will I ever finish?...
- following a dream, a passion, a calling...where it leads you don't really know, fumbling through the best you can, looking for others to support you, believe in you, one step at a time...
- working at a job you'd rather leave, but there's nowhere else to go, God has you here, jobs are scarce, the atmosphere is difficult, but it's your job...
- waiting...for an answer, a change, a development, relief...still waiting...and praying...
Hebrews 12:3 reminds us to consider the endurance of Jesus as He faced His inevitable death on the cross whenever we are tempted to give up. Jesus' assignment was to persevere to the cross, refusing to give up, living a holy life all the way through, being obedient to His calling day after day after day after difficult day. He, like us, was to glorify the Father as He endured. So it wasn't enough to just grit His teeth, clinch His fist, and trudge on. He was to endure with a hopeful gaze on the prize and joy set before Him.
For my final trail tip, I want to encourage you to endure the season of life God has you in. And persevere in the next one and the next one, as well. But as you press on, let Jesus be your model.
Don't grit your teeth and huff and puff. Instead, take joy in the journey. Find reward in obedience, grace for the grind, peace in the patience, hope for the light at the end of the tunnel, satisfaction in the sacrifice, and victory in the battle.
So again, what long stretch are you on today, this month, this year? If you realize now that you've been sighing a lot as you've struggled just to endure, take a deep breath and buckle down for the long haul. Set your face toward your destination, define your goals afresh, and pick up the pace, if you can.
There is joy in the journey because there is reward for perseverance.
For consider Him who has endured
such hostility by sinners against Himself,
so that you may not grow weary
and lose heart.
What long stretch of path are you traveling? How are you finding joy in it today?
Labels: obedience, Perspective, Trail Tips for a Modern Gal on an Ancient Path