Saturday, June 28, 2014

Body, Soul, and Spirit (The Sisters Patience and Persistence)

There are a lot of what I will term, mind science teachings that are popular today. They come in different religious flavors and varying degrees of sophistication but they all contain a similar teaching. They all claim mind or intention is the beginning of all things. That is correct. They all claim that before something can materialize in your world, you must first have the thought in your mind. That is correct. Some of them even teach methods of visualization to help you learn how to clearly see your goals. Visualization works. Even Olympic athletes utilize visualization techniques as part of their training. It has been found that mentally rehearsing a gymnastic routine or even shooting foul shots will improve an athlete’s actual performance. But often, that is where these teachings stop. They imply that you do not need to practice or continue exercising in the face of disappointment and discouragement to achieve a goal. In fact, even the exceptional athlete runs hundreds of wind sprints and spends hours in boring repetitive drills of fundamental skills.

Persistence is the point at which divine will takes shape in human hands. We can say this mountain will be removed from my life, but mountains are large. Rent a bulldozer and start digging. If the rock is worth something, people will pay you for a chance to haul it off. If you believe you have found God’s will for your life, persist in seeing your goal, even as you work towards that goal.

Persistence has a sister. Her name is patience. If you set a very large goal, at some point in time you will be tempted to cry out, “The task is too great.”

Patience says, “This is not so.” If, for example you have set a goal of $1,500,000 in cash, stocks, and bonds for retirement, this is can seem an overwhelming goal, particularly as you watch your investments decline in value as happened in 2008.

Patience says, “Can you put aside $1,000 this month? Perhaps that is something that can be done by payroll deduction into a 401-K, every month. Perhaps your employer will add something to that money. Perhaps the mutual fund purchased with that money will eventually begin to grow again.”

Patience will tell you, “You can take another step and not even notice it.”

If you keep doing the right thing in the right way you will get closer and closer to your goal. If God has truly told you, this mountain will be removed. It might take some effort, but enough bulldozers, enough dump trucks, and enough time and that mountain will be removed.

This principle applies to any problem. Consider the real case of a very lonely unhappy divorced man. One day he decided he had enough of his own sorrow and self pity. He didn’t know how to start meeting women. After all, he was over fifty years old. He decided to take a class in ballroom dancing. He thought women might like dancing. He was right. He was greatly outnumbered by women in these classes and some of the women were divorcees looking for a husband. It took some time, but eventually, through persistence and patience, he found a good Christian wife.

The sisters, patience and persistence would be number six on my list of seven.

“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”

Mary Anne Radmacher

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