Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Austere Perseverance - Jewel of the Character

“Austere perseverance, harsh and continuous, may be employed by the smallest of us and rarely fails of its purpose, for its silent power grows irresistibly greater with time.”

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

As you sow, shall you also reap. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 9:6 and also in Galatians 6:7-8 that we invariably get back what we put in. It’s a principle enshrined in life; alternatively it is God’s wisdom as woven into the laws of relational cause and effect... generally so.

Just what is ‘Austere Perseverance?’

This is a compound word phrase underscoring the meaning—a character trait—of the truly ‘applied’ life bound for true, unfazed resilience.

People who apply themselves to the living of their livestapping this silent power—according to such a creed as quoted above—will know success, eventually.

Being austere in our perseverance, by my simple understanding, is a situational thing; always kept in store for when it’s most required. It’s when our biggest fears, tests and doubts hit that we need to draw on our most rigorous sense of bearing, guiding us through the trepidation.

Taken further into the inner sanctum, then, of this jewel-like quality, we find it’s serenely poised and forthright in its approach to life. It doesn’t hold onto everything it owns with all abandon, yet it won’t let go of the important things; it stands firm for these.

It goes beyond common perseverance, which flails by the way, often in the direst tumult. Austere perseverance never gives up, and cheerfully and simply goes on to the next revelation—whatever that might be. It is hence full of a good, useable faith—with hope and patience in reserve.

Developing this Character Trait

What we focus upon we inevitably—finally—get.

God is good to us in that he gives us many opportunities to practice our perseverance. This is why James said, “Consider it pure joy... when you face trials of many different kinds” (James 1:2-4).

The reason we have our trials—if not by virtue of our ‘equal’ role, our part, in creation—is to conform our responses to the austere perseverance that God knows we’re capable of.

And we are... all capable. We can develop the cognitive, emotional, spiritual and moral strength to persevere well beyond where we often think our limits are.

Whenever we consider momentum and success in one sentence, perseverance is the glue that sticks the two together; it practically creates both. The former is the short term outcome of perseverance. The latter is the long term outcome of perseverance.

The simple thing is anyone can persevere. We just don’t give up.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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