I’m impressed by the amazing acts of persistence, the bulldog tenacity, in our history. People who refuse to quit because they’ve got an unwavering focus for what they must do.
Thomas Edison figured out a thousand ways to not develop a workable light bulb.
Abe Lincoln failed as a businessman, never was a great lawyer, and failed at countless attempts for a political office.
Winston Churchill twice failed the entrance exam to the Royal Military Academy.
Henry Ford failed and went broke five times before seeing any success.
Perseverance motivated them all. They didn’t quit.
He’s not quite eleven months old.
We’ve had a houseful of balloons. Had a gathering, and my thinking is, if you’re going to blow a few up, blow them all up. Apart from intentionality, they don’t go away quickly. For which Ryken has been immensely grateful.
We were sitting around, talking. Ryken was investigating the territory. Sizing it up.
He grabbed a blue and pink balloon by their knotted tips and figured out how to crawl without losing them. He had to adapt. Lifting his arms higher, pushing them as well as lifting them.
Then he hit the stairs.
He’s been fascinated by stairs for about a month. He’s worked hard at learning to go up them. Hasn’t mastered down at all.
Flipping the balloons up, he began his way up the stairs. Not letting go of either. He’d get a step up, begin a slide, correct his position, and continue.
Dang, that boy’s got tenacity!
I wish I had that kind of perseverance. I struggle with self-confidence. I often hesitate to try things I believe I could possibly do because of a fear of failure.
Ryken doesn’t fear anything right now. Fear is a learned response. He keeps trying because he doesn’t know he can’t do it.
I fear that things won’t turn our exactly as I want them to. Which in my world translates to failure.
Failure isn’t fatal. It’s opportunity to try again.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trial of many kinds, because you KNOW that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” James 1:2-3
God says that difficulties, hardships–failure–actually help develop perseverance. It’s when hard times come that I actually find whether I’ve got what it takes to hold–or fold.
I’ve learned to fear failure. My culture and my personality have trained me to expect the best of myself. Anything less than that just doesn’t cut it.
God gives grace lavishly. He gets it when I don’t do it right. And isn’t surprised or disappointed by my failures.
I’m taking a page from Ryken’s playbook.
Push through, Dayle. If you slip, slide or slam into the floor, pick yourself up and dust yourself off.
That way may not work.
But another way just might.