Did you know that it took Thomas Edison thousands of failed experiments over decades before he invented a long-lasting incandescent light bulb that revolutionized the world? He never stopped trying, he never saw himself a failure. His persistence paid off.
Did you know that over a span of thirty years, Abraham Lincoln repeatedly failed at business, love and politics before becoming the President of the United States? He never stopped trying, he never saw himself a failure. His persistence paid off.
It seems to me that persistence has become like a dirty word nowadays. Many people throw in the towel before they even start, thinking whatever task is before them is simply too difficult to overcome. There's a lot of folks that, once beaten down, never get up again. They lose hope and give up trying. Persistence is no longer part of their vocabulary, if it ever was.
I'm here to tell you that persistence pays off as much today as it did in Lincoln and Edison's time. If you're buried in debt, guys like David Ramsey are there to help. If you're dealing with diabetes, food addiction or cancer, guys like Dr. Neal Barnard are there to help. If you struggle in your relationship with God, the Spiritual Exercises and spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola can be of great help. You might even find this blog to be of some assistance :)
We have to stop throwing in the towel, thinking all is lost and nothing is worth fighting for. The transformations we so desire will never occur if we give up. If we ever want to achieve our goals, hopes and dreams, we have to get up, dust ourselves off, and get moving.
It's true, we may do just that and fail once again. But the key to success is that make another attempt. Eventually, our persistence will pay off.
Here's a great poem for you to ponder:
"Quit, give up, you're beaten"
They shout at you and plead
"There's just too much against you
This time you can't succeed".
And as I start to hang my head
In front of failures face
My downward fall is broken by
The memory of a race
And hope refills my weakened will
As I recall that scene
Or just the thought of that short race
Rejuvenates my being
children's race, young boys
Young men, how I remember well
Excitement sure, but also fear
It wasn't hard to tell
They all lined up so full of hope
Each thought to win that race
Or tie for first, or if not that
At least take second place
The fathers watched from off the side
Each cheering for his son
And each boy hoped to show his dad
That he could be the one
The whistle blew and off they went
Young hearts and hopes afire
To win and be the hero there
Was each young boys desire
And one boy in particular
Whose dad was in the crowd
Was running near the lead and thought
"My dad will be so proud"
But as they speeded down the field
Across a shallow dip
The little boy who thought to win
Lost his step and slipped
Trying hard to catch himself
With hands flew out to brace
And amid the laughter of the crowd
He fell flat on his face
But as he fell his dad stood up
And showed his anxious face
Which to the boy so clearly said
"Get up and win the race"
He quickly rose, no damage done
Behind a bit that's all
And ran with all his night and mind
To make up for the fall
So anxious to restore himself
To catch up and to win
His mind went faster than his legs
He slipped and fell again
He wised then that he had quit before
With only one disgrace
"I'm hopeless as a runner now
I shouldn't try to race"
But in the laughing crowd he searched
And found his fathers face
That steady look which said again
"Get up and win the race"
So up he jumped to try again
Ten yards behind the last
If I'm going to gain those yards he though
I've got to move real fast
Exerting everything he had
He regained eight or ten
But trying hard to catch the lead
He slipped and fell again
Defeat, he lay there silently
A tear dropped from his eye
There's no sense running anymore
Three strikes, I'm out, why try?
The will to rise had disappeared
All hope had fled away
So far behind so error prone
A loser all the way
"I've lost, so what", he thought
I'll live with my disgrace
But then he thought about his dad
Whom soon he'd have to face
"Get up" the echo sounded low
"Get up" and take your place
You were not meant for failure here
"Get up", and win the race
With borrowed will "Get up" it said
"You haven't lost at all"
For winning is no more than this
To rise each time you fall
So up he rose to run once more
And with a new commit
He resolved, that win or lose
At least he shouldn't quit
So far behind the others now
The most he'd ever been
Still he'd give it all he had
And run as though to win
Three times he'd fallen, stumbling
Three times he'd rose again
Too far behind to hope to win
He still ran to the end
They cheered the winning runner
As he crossed the line first place
Head high and proud and happy
No falling, no disgrace
But when the fallen youngster
Crossed the line, last place
The crowd gave him the greater cheer
For finishing the race
And even though he came in last
With head bent low, unproud
You would have thought he'd won the race
To listen to the crowd
And to his dad he sadly said
"I didn't do too well"
"To me you won", his father said
"You rose each time you fell"
by D. H. Groberg
Don't give up! He's making all things new!