Among all my qualities, you won’t find persistence. I give up when things stop making sense to me. Without thinking, when I get hit in places where I shouldn’t, I run for my dear sweet life. I give up far too many times.
This morning, I was reading a plan on YouVersion, “Hope When it Hurts”, and today’s devotional topic was, “Changing For the Better”, where the authors talked about how perseverance or endurance is rooted in hope. That we persevere when we believe that what awaits us is worth the fight.
You know, it’s really amazing how Paul’s affliction was used as a reference point in this scenario. Yes, Paul suffered and was presecuted for preaching the gospel, yet he wasn’t deterred. He never for once considered quitting. He still pushed through, even behind bars; He still wrote in those letters, words of encouragement, because perseverance is rooted in hope. For him then, it was in the hope of the glory of God.
Today, I am considering quitting my internship. I have heard Ben talk about me staying and building work experiences for my CV even as I had, with regards to this, left the CV alone. He said I needed the exposure and every other thing that I’d learn. Ben is that one person I know who finishes whatever he starts. If it’s not worth finishing, then it’s not worth starting in the first place. I applied for this internship in the middle of my exams because I badly needed a job. But when I discovered it wasn’t paid, I was laid back. What made me reconsider was when I figured that I could be retained full time based on my performance.
Perseverance is rooted in Hope.
For this company, I don’t see a future with me in it. I have started the internship and half the time, I feel like I am staying in it at the expense of the future I actually see myself in. It is a part time remote internship that feels like full time, because when I am not working, I am thinking about work, about how to keep at it, about how to do better, and all that. At the beginning of the month, I had a list of things I wanted to improve on. This is the second week of the month and I am yet to figure myself and the internship out.
Reading this Devotional today made me feel guilty in ways that it shouldn’t. But then, I am clinging to that one part that said, “Perseverance is rooted in hope”. Which means, where there is no hope, there is no perseverance, right? I have traced back to all the things I had left unfinished, and realized that none of them was worth the stay in the first place. I cannot persevere knowing fully well that my perseverance will yield nothing on the long run.
According to the Bible, “Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance produces character; and character produces hope,” (Roman 5:3-5). Why choose to suffer if the stuff doesn’t have hope at the end of the sequence?
Where then does discernment come into play? Isn’t Discernment rooted in hope, too? If I decide to separate things according to their relevance to me and focus only on the things that matter, does that make me a quitter?
Today, I don’t pray for perseverance. I pray for discernment. Just like Ben, I want to be able to discern before indulging. That what’s not worth me finishing, won’t worth me starting. And should I eventually decide to start something, I will stay the course, suffer the suffering, persevere, and finally build that character of persistence that has never been one of my qualities.