Sunday, December 28, 2008
Calvin Coolidge was known as "silent Cal" and seems to almost be a forgotten president. But he did leave some words of wisdom that have inspired me many times -
"Press on: Nothing in this world can take the place of perseverance. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."
Sometimes persistence is overlooked in our process of personal change. Whether it be dieting, saving money, or the mighty change of heart of conversion to Jesus Christ, we all would like to find THE secret. The one thing that will make the change in our lives lasting.
Quite often there is not one thing. There are many things, that done with consistency and dedication slowly bring about the change we are seeking. I wish my addiction had simply been taken from me when I turned to Jesus Christ. But it wasn't. Slowly, often imperceptibly, my nature began to be changed by my Savior. With persistence as I continued to work the 12 steps, turn to my Heavenly Father, prayer always, and the other small things which turn my heart to my Savior, he changed me.
In his "Parable of the Pickle" David A. Bednar described gospel change like this:
"The spiritual rebirth described in this verse typically does not occur quickly or all at once; it is an ongoing process—not a single event. Line upon line and precept upon precept, gradually and almost imperceptibly, our motives, our thoughts, our words, and our deeds become aligned with the will of God. This phase of the transformation process requires time, persistence, and patience. A cucumber only becomes a pickle through steady, sustained, and complete immersion in salt brine."
Sometimes there is no secret, there is only persistence. The slow, steady work of the decisions we make every single day. As we climb in the wheelbarrow in these small ways every day, the Lord blesses us with the change we desire, and miracles happen.