I have been reading Coach Wooden’s “Pyramid of Success“. I am always on the lookout for insight, succinct sayings that can serve to propel me, or my students, or my loved ones forward on the path of life. Over the past few months I have had some emotional knockouts. But you see, even though my hope and optimism dimmed, I knew there just HAD to be a reason to keep believing.
John Wooden wrote “Patience is the ability to wait and calmly persevere. We all grow impatient, but some people have more trouble waiting than others do. We tend to forget that all good things take time.” (p. 123). The time spent on perseverance is worth it.
I have been giving that some serious thought this week. CALMLY persevere. So I prayed about that. I asked God to give me the gift of being calm. I could think of all kinds of reasons to worry, obsess, and think of negative possibilities. But you see, all of those earthly worries cannot withstand God’s grace. That does not mean that huge problems will magically go away. (Oh sometimes I wish they would)!
Instead it means that I can choose to remain calm, cling to Him in the storms, ask for endurance and strength. Some days, weeks, months, and even years are difficult and traumatic. Even lengthy battles end. Sometimes they end well, sometimes we lose.
Our vigilant Shepherd will always love us. If we listen for His voice, He will always guide us through the difficulties. He will lift us out of the brambles when we stumble. It is easy to think we are to take on the entire world. We cannot rescue everyone from the brambles. We can encourage, we can suggest that they listen to the Shepherd who is perfect. We can model the behavior. Patience is called for, because each of us listens and learns differently.
How could I forget to apply that to life? I intuitively know that each of my students learn differently. I attempt to customize my tutoring sessions so that the students can learn to the best of their ability. Well, guess what? Life is like that, too. When a loved one is struggling and not learning from past mistakes, what does that mean? It could mean they need to learn it in another way. Sometimes we must detach.
Today, just for today, I am trusting that peace and growth will continue. I realize downturns will come. But do you know what? Today I can accept “reasonably happy in this world, and supremely happy in the next”. Sail on my friends, promises await you. Have a very blessed day.