Several months ago, I purchased a Nutri-Bullet. If you’re not familiar with this appliance, it’s basically a high powered blender that promises to whip nearly anything into a smooth, creamy, yummy drink in seconds.
In short, it makes it easy to get your daily dose of fruits and vegetables in one easy meal. This $100 investment has paid for itself many times over as my morning meal is now jam packed with healthy foods. It’s fast. It’s easy.
Fast and easy.
These are terms that have taken over our culture like pachysandra in a summer garden. If we can’t accomplish our tasks quickly and easily, we give up. If answers don’t come to us in nanoseconds, we become frustrated.
I was reminded of this at work recently. Faced with the task of building a simple spreadsheet, I found myself stuck. For the life of me I could not figure out how to organize the data. After a few minutes of ruminating and trying different things, I decided to delegate the task. As I was about to hit ‘Send’ on the email, I stopped and said to myself, ‘This is crazy. You’re giving up too soon. Try again.’
I opened up the spreadsheet, deleted my past work and started over. After about 20 minutes, the data was organized and ready to use.
While I was quite proud of the accomplishment, I was also bewildered by how quickly I was willing to give up on it. I am a problem solver. I thrive on figuring out solutions to challenges, but yet when faced with this ridiculously simple problem, I was stuck. I wanted to give up.
Hard work, patience and perseverance have gotten a bad rap. All are seen as unnecessary when a quick internet search will get you the results you desire. I think this is one of the reasons that children are struggling in school. They are used to quick wins as they search for answers on YouTube. They struggle with reading an entire book or solving a multi-step math problem because it can’t be done in minutes or worse, it produces no tangible benefit.
The same is true with our spiritual journeys. We don’t see results before the last stanza of “The Lord’s Prayer” , so we give up. We ask God for answers and if He doesn’t respond right away, He must not exist.
We read our Bible or other spiritual books and if we don’t get the famous “Ah-ha” moment, we put the book back on the shelf and revert to our way of doing things.
Why are we so unwilling to persevere? To wait? To trust that we can achieve our goal if we persist?
Simple. It takes time.
As a single mom, I get this. My time is precious and I struggle with people or things that waste my time. I look for efficiencies wherever possible and I put them into practice. Faster way to cook dinner? I’m all over it. Shorter ways around town as I Uber my kids from place to place? Count me in.
Here’s what I’ve learned however. If you want lasting results, you have to keep at it. If you want to keep that 20 pound weight loss off, you have to change your life forever; not just for 10 days. If you want to truly transform your spiritual life, you have to do something every single day. There are no magic bullets to get you there faster; to whip your bad habits into submission with the press of a button.
This past week, I received a supernatural download of sorts to an issue I’ve been grappling with. While at first I deemed it miraculous, after some thought I realized that this happened because of my perseverance.
Every morning, I have been praying, studying, and writing so that I can become deeper in my faith, further along in my spiritual practice.
My minor spreadsheet project was a metaphor for the larger lesson of perseverance. Had I given up and delegated this to my employee, I would not have had the sense of accomplishment I felt after figuring it out. Had I given up on my morning spiritual practices after a short time, I’d still be struggling with this issue.
I trusted that my perseverance would pay off and it did.
Are you giving up too soon on something? Is it time to dig deep and try again? Trust that you can do this and that your perseverance will reap not only the blessing you were seeking, but so much more.
“At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessings if we don’t give up.”