Success In Persistence
If I had to pick just one character trait that is a “must have” in order to be successful at anything in life, it would be persistence. In fact, it seems to be the one trait that is the dominant trait in every single, super-successful individual you find. One man said, “It is the one trait that any ordinary person can use to become extraordinary.
Napoleon Hill, who wrote “Think and Grow Rich”, devoted an entire chapter to persistence and said that the only thing that was different about Henry Ford and Thomas Edison and other average people was their persistence. He also said in that chapter, “Failure cannot cope with persistence.”
Dance Until It Rains
I heard a story about a tribe in Africa that confounded all of the anthropologists. It seems that this tribe had for centuries enjoyed a 100% success rate with its rain dance. Let me give a disclaimer here. I don’t believe anyone can make it rain with a dance. Just read to the end of the story. In comparing this tribe to other tribes who did rain dances but who didn’t always experience success, the experts couldn’t find anything that differentiated the one tribe. They performed the same rituals, going through the same incantations, in the same costumes. Like all the tribes, they sometimes danced for days, even weeks on end.
Finally, an astute observer noticed something very telling. The successful tribe did one thing – and only one thing – different than the other tribes. It ALWAYS danced UNTIL it rained! That’s right! They wouldn’t stop until it rained.
Persistence In Faith
Persistent prayer and persistent faith are so important. Remember the story of the ten spies going to check out the promised land? These people had wandered around in the desert and now God was going to give them the promised land, but after they saw it and discovered it was exactly what God said it would be 10 of the twelve spies said, “The giants are too big!” But there were two that never gave up, Joshua and Caleb. They missed that round but 45 years later they stood at the same place!
Caleb said, “Now look at me: God has kept me alive, as he promised. It is now forty‑five years since God spoke this word to Moses, years in which Israel wandered in the wilderness. And here I am today, eighty‑five years old! I’m as strong as I was the day Moses sent me out. I’m as strong as ever in battle, whether coming or going. So, give me this hill country that God promised me. You yourself heard the report, that the Anakim were there with their great fortress cities. If God goes with me, I will drive them out, just as God said.” Joshua 14:10‑12
He never gave up! Persistence was the key. Persistence in vision, persistence in faith and believing. Okay… you’ll just have to forgive me, but I can’t resist it. We’ve all heard about the great Winston Churchill’s speech at a graduation ceremony. Well, as it turns out it didn’t exactly happen that way. But He did make this statement in the middle of his speech, “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 honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
The Bottom Line
If you’re discouraged today (as I have been at times and everyone who reads this has), I hope you’ll find the encouragement to know that you really only need to do one thing at this point —— PERSIST. Don’t let go of the promise, the vision. And that means taking just one step in the right direction —— even a half step in the right direction. You may need to review your plan or change your plan or check the timeline or maybe you just even need to create a plan in the first place. But the one way you can ensure that you will meet with success (it’s absolutely guaranteed) —— is to “dance ‘til it rains!”
PRAYER: Jesus, give me just a little more grit, some sticktoitness, the courage to never give up. I know there will be challenges. I’m not asking to be spared all those. Just help me reach down and find the persistence to stay faithful to you and never give up on the dream, the promises you have given me. AMEN.