During the first half of the summer term, we contemplate what perseverance is; finding real examples to help us understand. Good luck to Year 6 who will be working hard to get ready for their SATs and who will need to persevere.
Key themes to explore:
- Not giving up
- Try, try and try again
- Sticking at a task; keep on keeping on
- Seeing a job through to the end; exhibiting endurance
- 'No gain without pain'
- Not being distracted or derailed from your ambitions
- Success doesn't come easily; being prepared to pay the price; bearing the heat of the day
- Keeping your eye on your goal - link SEAL: Going for goals
Christians often describe their spiritual life as a journey. Paul talks about the upward call of God in Christ: 'I run towards the goal, so that I can win the prize of being called to heaven' (Philippians 3:14, CEV).
For Christians there is the promise that Jesus goes before them as the pioneer and perfecter of faith: 'We must keep our eyes on Jesus, who leads us and makes our faith complete' (Hebrews 12:2).
There are many verses that encourage Christians to persevere:
'We must be determined to run the race that is ahead of us' (Hebrews 12:1).
'Keep your mind on Jesus... Then you won't get discouraged and give up' (Hebrews 12:3).
Paul, in his letter to Timothy, uses a series of images to help his readers - that of a soldier, of an athlete and of a farmer (2 Timothy 2:3-7).
Each one needs dedication if they are to win the battle, complete the race, or produce a good harvest. Most good things in life only come with time, patience, dedicated effort and perseverance. This is also true in the realm of faith. For example, Jesus advises his followers not to give up in prayer (Luke 18:1-8).
In the Old Testament there are promises for those who persevere:
'The Lord gives strength to those who are weary... Those who trust the Lord will find new
strength. They will be strong like eagles, soaring up on wings; they will walk and run without getting tired' (Isaiah 40:29-31).
'You know that many runners enter a race, but the only one of them wins the prize. So run to win!' (1 Corinthians 9:24).
Jesus said: 'Ask, and you will receive. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened for you'. (Matthew 7:7).
Some words on perseverance
Age wrinkles the body. Quitting wrinkles the soul. Douglas MacArthur
Edison failed 10000 times before he made the electric light. Do not be discouraged if you fail a few times.
Energy and persistence conquer all things. Benjamin Franklin
Stay the course, light a star, Change the world where'er you are. Richard Le Gallienne
Victory belongs to the most persevering. Napoleon Bonaparte
Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud
enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
By perseverance the snail reached the ark. Charles H. Spurgeon
Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never, in nothing, great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.
Our greatest joy is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. Confucius
Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.