MAY 2003 – There is a story told about a certain little boy who wanted a watch. Day in and day out he pestered his parents about getting him a watch. His parents put him off every way they could. Finally, he drove his parents to the breaking point. His father told the youngster that he didn’t want to hear another word from him about a watch.
Well, for the rest of that week the lad said nothing about a watch. He knew that to do so would certainly bring some discomfort to his sitting-down place. However, Sunday soon rolled around, and the family was gathered together for a period of devotion. It was the custom in the family for each member to learn a new verse of Scripture and to recite it each Sunday during devotions. Every other member of the family had said his or her Scripture verse when it came time for the small lad to quote his. Looking up with a very solemn face, he quoted his verse, Mark 13:37, perfectly: “What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’” Well, I’m not certain if he got his watch or the other thing. But one thing I can say for him is he was persistent.
And that’s a quality all of us could use – persistence. One of our faults today is that we give up too soon, call it quits after a single setback, let failure break us instead of make us.
There is very little a person cannot do in this life if he sets out to do it and stays with it. One reason we don’t accomplish more is that we are quick quitters. We get a setback or two, and then we say it can’t be done. We give up. We quit trying. But history is full of things that couldn’t be done. And that means it is also full of people who did them.
The world looks up in admiration to a person who has staying power. He doesn’t have to have great brains or great riches or vast opportunities. But if he believes in something and has the persistence to stay with that belief regardless of the praise or scorn he receives, the world ultimately will look up to him.
One reason there aren’t more people with persistence than there are is the simple reason that it takes a big person to try again, to stick out the ship when the waves get high. Anyone can quit. Anyone can get into a lifeboat and float to safety. But the man with persistence is hunting neither safety nor another mission. He has something he wants to do, and he believes he can do it. So he stays with it, come what may. Then one day he finally accomplishes the impossible.
Great and good goals aren’t easy to accomplish. They require great and good people to accomplish them. And great and good people are individuals who keep on keeping on. I believe God wants a person who says, “I can.” I believe God wants a person who will try again.
“[A]ll things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). He is waiting to see if you believe Him.
If you do, stay with it.
Editor’s Note: From the late 1970s through 2010, Don Wildmon, founder and president emeritus of American Family Association, wrote hundreds of monthly columns for AFA Journal. Thirty-one of his best columns are now available in a recently published collection titled Our Call to Faithfulness: The Voice and Legacy of Don Wildmon. These columns represent his timeless wisdom and insight and are now being published weekly on The Stand in celebration of AFA’s 40 years of ministry.
Click here or call 877-927-4917 to order your own copy of Our Call to Faithfulness: The Voice and Legacy of Don Wildmon.