by Emily Conrad
I posted a picture of my laptop keyboard on social media last week, commenting on the slow wear and tear. I assume even non-writers wear down their keys. Does everyone feel oddly proud to have evidence of each word they’ve spelled out?
As a novelist, the wear on the keys serves as evidence of my stories.
If the laptop ages like my last, some of the letter appliques will almost disappear, but muscle memory will make up for the loss.
I’m somewhat amazed that the soft pad of my fingers would tap at something like that long enough to make it disappear.
My love for stories eases the toll patient persistence would otherwise take on my sometimes limited attention span.
I struggle with craving after craving for sweets as I clean up my diet, and the scale doesn’t seem that impressed with my efforts.
I battle distractions to spend time with God. And though I know He is near and always active, sometimes my relationship with Him seems to stall.
But, my worn keyboard serves as a reminder of the power of small acts multiplied.
Each moment of persistence, whether it’s to sit at a keyboard and work, to exercise, to eat well, to turn to God, is like dropping a penny in a bank.
If we quit early on, our savings won’t amount to much.
If we count our progress along the way, we might be discouraged at how little we’ve accomplished.
But if we keep going, finding ways to scrounge up more pennies and faithfully drop them in that bank, we’ll amass quite a reward.
A novel. A stronger, healthier body. A renewed relationship with our Savior.
Whether we love the process or not, these are worth the effort.
As we pursue what God has called us to, of course we don’t persist alone or in our own strength.
We can do all things, but only through Him who strengthens us. Apart from Him, we can do nothing.
But that doesn’t mean we’re off the hook. We are called to persistence.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, we must get rid of every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and run with endurance the race set out for us
Hebrews 12:1, NET
Each day, we have a choice. Will we lean into Christ’s strength, or will we walk away? Will we remember that not only are we working toward a result we can see or measure, but also (and more importantly) toward a heavenly prize? Or will we allow discouragement to steal both?
Thankfully, this life of persistence is not all drudgery. God sprinkles in blessings.
I’ve found the more I exert the necessary effort, the more I enjoy the process, too.
The more I write, the more I get excited about a story.
Because I’ve been exercising, I no longer have to agonize over each pushup. In fact, I enjoy the challenge of doing better than I’ve done in the past.
As I seek God, my spirit grows thirstier for Him. Our time together becomes more productive.
It may take some time to begin, but as we persist, we will often experience the reward little by little as we do the work.
What have you been called to that requires persistence? My guess is, there are probably a few things.
In the face of those challenges, first and foremost, we must invite God to guide us.
Then, we can draw encouragement by remembering victories God’s given us in other areas that we might not’ve experienced if we’d given up.
Along the way, an inventory of our tools might prove encouraging. Does your goal involve a keyboard? Workout clothes? Your Bible? All will eventually show signs of use.
Each tool we wear out represents days and days and days where we followed our calling.
As we press on, we can do so in the assurance that big accomplishments are made up of many little moments of faithful persistence.
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Photos in this post are my own. Graphics designed on Canva.com