It’s been 3 weeks. For the last 3 weeks, I have been waking up two of my kids to get them ready for school. It isn’t so bad with just the one who actually likes school and oddly enough, cares about punctuality. With the other one, the one that hates waking up, hates being outside of the house, and cares nothing about other people’s timetables, well, that is a little more difficult. Every morning I have to wake him up. Every morning I have to calm his tears. Every morning I have to wrestle his clothes on and shove food in his face all the while checking my watch to make sure we aren’t late.
And we’re always late.
“I don’t want to go” he says. “I’m tired” or “I hate school” or “I wanna stay home” or some other kind of plea to allow him to just not go. But, as any of our parenting instincts would tell us, we cannot give in. We cannot cave. Going to school is good for him whether he sees it in this lifetime or not.
But, I do have to hand it to him, he sure is persistent. 3 weeks straight and he hasn’t even skipped a single beat.
Let’s look at next week’s readings. They are:
Persistence. Sounds like persistence is what gets us what we want. From wrestling with God for a blessing, to preaching the good news even to those who don’t want to hear it, to asking and asking and asking to the point of being annoying. It sounds like we need to keep being persistent in order to get what we want.
So should I not be like the unjust judge and let my kid skip school everyday? Should I reward his persistence with what he wants? Or will my persistence in making sure he gets to school (late) eventually turn into his appreciation for school and routine?
See, I’m not sure it’s persistence in general that gets us what we want, but rather, persistence in the gospel that changes who we are.
Jacob’s persistence in wrestling with God didn’t get him blessed, it was actually his character the whole time that God blesses. Paul tells Timothy not to be persistent in shoving the bible into people’s throats, but he encourages Timothy to not be discouraged by the changing tides in the hearts of society. And Jesus isn’t saying that we should be persistent in asking God for what we want, rather that we should be persistent in recognising God’s hand is already at work in our lives.
Perhaps persistence in general will get us what we want. But I would rather be persistent in the gospel, informing me how to live and teaching me to see God’s abundant blessing in our everyday going in and coming out. I will keep on keepin’ on, so to speak. As in, I will keep on praising my Lord and Saviour, knowing that there are plenty reasons for praise! Thanks be to God!
Have a great week, everyone, and a Happy Thanksgiving!