One of the things I would like to deny about myself (but can’t) is that I have a tendency to bail on things. Actually, my perseverance skills sometimes really stink.
When someone raises their voice to me, I’m ready to walk away.
When my life becomes what I feel I didn’t sign up for, I start seeing greener grass.
Whenever I’m in a funk, I start to consider other options.
Every time I’m in a rut, I seek my escape.
Basically, I have a tendency to want to do away with what no longer feels natural or easy to me. My perseverance stinks.
Honestly, I didn’t even realize I was like this until about 2 years ago. I had just left my most recent job because I no longer liked being there. In fact, I had really grown to dislike it – a lot.
A few months after having left the position, I made a connection.
With the exception of being fired from a job I had many years ago (a weird story for another article), I have walked away from every job I’ve ever had.
I simply decided I had had enough, and left. Just like that.
I wasn’t a jerk about it. I gave two weeks notice, and in two cases, six weeks notice. But regardless, I decided it was time to bail.
The Proverbial Light Bulb
Until making this connection, I had always wondered why other people stayed with things for so long.
And after making this connection, I started to see it as a lack of perseverance on my part. And then I started to see it in other areas of my life too. Relationships, exercise, diets, writing the novel I always said I was going to write…the list goes on and on. I have even considered abandoning this blog many times.
After making this connection, I made another.
With all this walking away from things, there has been one thing I have stayed consistent with, and have not abandoned – my faith and my relationship with God.
And this second connection led me to an important question: Why can I stick to my faith, but not all of the things that come with daily life?
Why do I fight them … or better yet, why do I often run from them?
Why is it that every time I’m discouraged or overwhelmed, I’m convinced there must be an easier way?
Why is it that every time I become frustrated or upset, I’m throwing in the towel?
I’ve come to realize, on the other hand, that when it comes to my faith, I have persevered so far because it’s just that – faith.
I have seen so many people question their faith. Even to the point of God’s existence. That’s a path I haven’t, and even refuse to take. My faith tells me that God does exist, and I see it every day in myself and in the lives around me.
I need no convincing. And I trust in God that I never will.
That is perseverance. Never letting anything shake me, or tempt me into taking a different path.
My faith in God is not dependent on feelings, fads, or the next bestselling author who has another option, or way of thinking.
No, thank you.
So now I see that in my daily life, I need to adopt the same thinking. Whether it comes to work life, home life, family life, etc., I need to stay on the path regardless of my feelings. Moods and feelings change every hour of the day, but I must stand firm, just as I do in my loyalty to God.
In everything in life, sometimes I will enjoy what I receive, and other times, I will dislike it. Can I always be grateful, though?
It’s my challenge to rise above these changing and sometimes negative feelings, and find God’s will in my circumstances. He will give me the ability to persevere through these challenges, however great or small.
How often do we look for greener grass, only to find a desert?
How often do we shift our direction because of imagined fears?
What Doesn’t Kill Us, Makes Us Stronger
Often we realize that the trials that troubled us were actually good for us. They helped us to see which virtues we possess or need to strengthen, so we can improve our daily lives.
I have always said that my worst enemy is – me. I will dislike the harder course of action every single time. And I will do anything I can to find a better, more pleasing option. But that is not virtuous. It is actually fear, and well, laziness.
My imagination, my feelings, my old habits, my likes and dislikes, these will assist me only inabandoning necessary struggles and obstacles in my life, and eventually, giving up.
I have been praying even more to God now, asking Him to help me gain more perseverance.
To stop avoiding.
To stop looking for green grass.
To stop imagining distant splendor.
That my tendency to walk away will begin to feel unnatural to me.
Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on Grow in Virtue, the author’s personal project, and is reprinted here with kind permission.