Grace to you!
The habit of exercise is the commonest example of how perseverance pays.
You remember those moments you simply wanted to sleep in or recline on your couch and enjoy a jumbo dessert. Body fat increases. You watch the scale and notice you’ve added one pound, then two, and three, on and on. You know your weight isn’t good, the fat needed burned. Yet, hardly do we follow through. Procrastination.
Perhaps we started the year with a resolution to make a two-mile walk, at least five times a week. Not long, we cut it to four times, three times until it becomes once a week...once a month. Zeal wanes. Good feelings and dreams of a healthy, toned body give way to a more tantalizing dessert and a “next time” wave of the hand to the thought of going to the gym.
Barely do we reflect on why we can’t follow through with our decisions to exercise and eat healthy. We simply fall back to old ways, old habits. Holding on to pleasant and good decisions tend to be more and more counter to our routine and comfort zone.
Discipline is praised by all, but hardly followed through by many. What happens to us with simple exercises also happens in our spiritual life. Hence, the writer of the Letter to the Hebrews admonishes persevering in faith and cultivating the virtue of patience.
“For God is not so unjust as to overlook your work and the love which you showed for his sake in serving the saints, as you still do. And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness in realizing the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Hebrew 9:10-12).
Every little practice of virtue or work of charity matters. In doing good, nothing is small and nothing is lost. Overtime, the works of faith, our practices of virtuous acts, will become signature contributions to others and to the world.
When we persevere in doing good, we stamp our identity in the hearts of many who are beneficiaries of the good we do. We find a niche in the nick of time, heading to eternity. When we practice virtuous acts and, in faith, hold on to the end, we answer the title of “faithful sons and daughters of our God.” As Scripture says, those who hold on to the end receive the promises.
We’ve got to fix our gaze on the finish line and work our ways backwards to where we are now and what we are doing at the moment. This is one of the tested leadership strategies for reaching the goal.
I pray God will grace us with perseverance. Amen
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.