Persistence Pays Off

August 09, 2010 19:43

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:

THE RACE


"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!


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