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Persistence Outpaces Instant Gratification

Someone has observed a dangerous inclination in our culture to believe in instant everything. Perhaps it has something to do with the nature of our times. We want to believe that all human needs can be met without delay. Ours is a world where everything is precut, precooked, preshrunk, prefrozen, flipped open or nonrefundable. While some problems yield to these kind of solutions, others do not. Being schooled in the “instant culture”, we get up tight when everything won’t follow that pattern. A mother tells about a little girl who was crying about something one day. The girl’s friend from next door asked her to go out and play. She said, “Mommy, dry my tears. I’ll finish crying later”. Perhaps the little girl was on to something. Some things can’t be resolved instantly. It takes time to work through them properly. A host of problems fit that category. We struggle with them every day. They can be massive and complicated and do not yield easily to our efforts. The worst thing we can do about them, however, is to give up too quickly. We want the glamor of results. It’s difficult to work and wait, to keep your cool when things move too slowly. As a result, its easy to become discouraged and just give up. But people who succeed often are those who can survive the steady push and the long pull. It’s not the “fireball” who always makes it. The fireball soon burns out. The people who make it are usually the people who know how to “keep on keeping on”. In the gospel, Jesus praises the poor widow who persistently pursues the corrupt judge until he finally gives her what is due her. May God give us the same persistence as we strive every day to live our lives in union with the Lord Jesus.


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