Day 250 of 366 Blog Challenge 2012

Hello all

Today I have been thinking about PATIENCE and its offshoot PERSEVERANCE. This being Day 250 of my Blog Challenge (68%) I think I have shown quite a bit of perseverance, don’t you?

Anyway, it is a milestone that I want to celebrate but despite perseverance in the area of writing, I don’t have much patience in other areas – such as being confined and having to take things easy for instance!

You see, a friend and neighbour sent me an email in which she spoke to me of patience and perseverance. Then, while resting this morning I came across another good reading in my Winter Meditation book about patience. So there it was – begging me to take a further look at this virtue which we all need.

I love what the Macquairie Dictionary says about patience: ‘1. calm endurance without complaint 2. a quiet and controlled keeping on with something; perseverance’. Interesting eh? I like the idea of being ‘calm’ and ‘quiet’ about it while we persevere.

On the other hand ‘perseverance‘ says this: ‘maintain a purpose in spite of difficulties or obstacles’. Now, I relate to this one as I continue to come here every day and write in spite of lots of difficulties! A medal perhaps? I don’t think so but here is what my little books offers:

“Patience is the powerful capacity of selfless love to suffer long under adversity. It is that noble ability to bear with either difficult people or adverse circumstances without breaking down.

Patience is the potent perseverance that produces positive results even under opposition and suffering. It is love, gracious, self-giving, pressing on, enduring hardship, because of the benefit it may bring to others.”

Taken from ‘The Inspirational Writings of Phillip Keller’

Now this man who wrote these words had me intrigued so I did some research and find out more about him and I discovered a man born in Kenya whose life was not easy. Here is a snippet about the man:

“Phillip Keller (1920-1997) spent his life traveling the globe, marveling at God’s creation, and writing over thirty-five books on Christian subjects. Whether he was working as a wildlife photographer, tending livestock on his ranch, writing books, raking leaves, or washing dishes, his life seemed to radiate the joy of the Lord.

But in Keller’s spiritual autobiography (written at the age of 70), he explained that this abundant joy was not something he was born with—it was something he learned over a lifetime.”

And so it seems that Phillip Keller is the very person to remind us that “Patience is the potent perseverance that produces positive results even under opposition and suffering.” 

Perhaps it was his joy that brought forth his patience and perseverance even whilst being opposed and when suffering? How do WE measure up when difficult conditions hand us suffering, hardship or difficult people: Do we want to abort the situation? Get out as fast as we can perhaps? It could be very tempting sometimes!

It made me begin to wonder if the world today is reluctant to put up with hardship. None of us wants life to be difficult. No one wants to spend their time being ill either but sometimes, fate hands us what it hands us. We can either rage against it or with patience keep persevering in looking after ourselves. Be kind to ourselves perhaps?

Yes, forced into a corner …

And this is where the sense of wonder comes in. Sometimes, it is only when we are forced into a corner with difficult circumstances, that we are forced to find such virtues as patience and perseverance … forced to become better people … joyful instead of bitter. It is here we find wonder in the small things of life.

Another friend emailed me after reading yesterday’s post on Wonder and said  she was driving along feeling sorry for herself  because of  some ailments when she “ looked up at the beautiful day and countryside and began to praise God for the beauty of His creation and to thank him for all He has given me.” 

And so dear friends, I am reminded to be patient and to keep persevering whilst developing my Sense of Wonder! Sure, as my friend said, she needs ‘a paradigm shift in her thinking’ to keep her mind-set that way. Don’t we all at times?

Today I sat at lunch and looked out at our azalea bush flowering: big bright pink flowers that stand out amongst the green of the garden. Spring has brought them forth in a flourish and I made myself look upon them with wonder.

Observing beauty requires an effort when we find we are focused too much on ourselves.

Patience and perseverance must have some reward folks! I believe it is developing our Sense of Wonder in the small things of life that helps us get there …