2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. –James 1:2-4

14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky… –Philippians 2:14-15

I have learned many things over the years, as we all have. One of the things I learned last fall and have been reminded of this fall is this: it doesn’t matter how nice the weather has been all week, or even how nice the weather is at your house on Saturday, when you step onto the football field, it will be miserably hot. This past Saturday was no exception to that rule. It was hot and sunny with nary a cloud in the sky.

I knew Saturday would be a test as to whether what I have been talking about with the cheerleaders – doing what is best for the team, persevering even when it is hard, not thinking about yourself – has been sinking in at all.

I am happy to report, IT HAS!! I have to brag on the girls, they did an amazing job. There was very little complaining. One girl tried to stick it out (probably a little too long) despite the fact that she felt sick. They cheered, they smiled, they sweated, they looked like they were wilting in the heat at times, but they finished the day.

It definitely kept me going, as I was fighting a stomach bug and had to be out in the heat and sun for over seven hours.

But, as  I have been thinking about this, I have been thinking about the various areas of my life and wondering if I am persevering as well in those places. Places like finances, parenting, devotions, marriage, work, etc. Do I keep going even when it is hard, or do I give in to the temptation to quit, or even just let myself  coast and not put in the effort to rise to the level I know I can. In other words, am I practicing what I am preaching?

That is a hard question to answer. I would have to say “sometimes, but not always.” There are days that I push through no matter what and there are days that I just give up. But I don’t want to give up, because I don’t want to miss out on being “mature and complete, not lacking anything.” And that is something I need to remember on this Monday morning when I am tired, worn down, sore, and not feeling well. I have to keep going and persevere no matter what.

Or like Dorie sings in Finding Nemo, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…”

What areas of your life do you find it hard to persevere?