How important is tenacity in our lives? At times it seems to fly in the face of a more pragmatic approach to achieving life’s goals. My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.
There’s a shelf in one of our kitchen cabinets that’s higher than most. It’s the shelf on which we store our vitamins and other medications. As it’s high and beyond the reach of our grandchildren, it’s a great place to put those things. However, it’s also beyond my wife’s reach. She can grab items on the lip of the shelf, but if there’s a bottle or bin pushed toward the back, it’s beyond her reach even at a stretch. As I’m a few inches taller than Holly and my arms are longer, I’m often called into service to pull ething out from the back of that shelf. At this point I have a choice: I can grab a chair to stand on putting everything within easy reach or I can stand on tip-toe, stretch my arm as far as possible, and grab what’s needed by the tips of my fingers. I always opt for the latter. It feels fulfilling to employ just enough tenacity even if it’s for something as mundane as grabbing a bottle of aspirin as a favor.
How important is tenacity in our lives? At times it seems to fly in the face of a more pragmatic approach to achieving life’s goals. However, if we’re focused on perfection, is tenacity a necessary ingredient?
Here’s a story. Eric Sevareid was an American author and CBS news journalist from 1939 to 1977. He was the first to report the fall of Paris when it was captured by the Germans during World War II. Traveling into Burma during World War II, his aircraft was shot down and he was rescued from behind enemy lines by a search and rescue team established for that purpose. After a long and distinguished career, he became a commentator on the CBS Evening News for 12 years for which he was recognized with Emmy and Peabody Awards. His long career was epitomized by his ability to reach farther and harder than his associates in order to tenaciously capture the news. When asked what personally motivated him to be so tenacious, he
responded. “Tenacity is a pretty fair substitute for bravery, and the best form of tenacity I know is expressed in a Danish fur trapper’s principle: ‘The next mile is the only one a person really has to make.’” (Eric Sevareid, Bits and Pieces, September 19, 1991, p. 19.)
The Prophet Habakkuk wrote: “For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” Life is full of discouragements and disappointments that cause us to pause, even withdraw at times. The prophet Habakkuk experienced these and the Lord reminded him that perseverance would bring about the “appointed time” when the his will would be revealed. That put Habakkuk into a decisive situation. Would he reach out with a tenacious grasp on that promise, or would he merely endure, propping himself up with an encouraging word or memory of a past situation when God came through for him? I believe that God wanted Habakkuk to spiritually stretch as far and hard as he could for this promise. God wants the same for you and I when it comes to waiting on his promises to secure our lives firmly in his grace, but in due time and method. That requires a faith that stretches on its tip-toes reaching out for that promise with tenacity. How do we do that? Eric Sevareid I think had it figured out. It requires a spirit that is brave to the point of being capable and willing to employ itself in reaching farther and higher than is normally our will to do. Practically speaking, this requires a spiritual perspective that takes into account what’s needed today, to simply make it until tomorrow. We need to concern ourselves with the next mile and God will give us the journey day by day.
We pray. Thank you Lord for promising an appointed time for all things important in our lives. Forgive us Lord, when we treat these promises with a ho-hum attitude, willing to wait but not willing to grab on to your promises with a faith that is both enduring and brave. You are a God of your Word. This is exciting and ought to embolden us to not only remain faithful, but to do so with enthusiasm and boldness. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. This Passing Day. (Matt 6:34)
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