Perseverance

‘Can you see anything?’ his assistant asked as Carter’s eyes adjusted to the semi-darkness. Carter could see well enough, but he had difficulty speaking because of the dazzling array of treasure spread out before him.

For more than two thousand years, tourists, grave robbers and archaeologists had searched for the burial places of Egypt’s Pharaohs. Armed with only a few scraps of evidence, British archaeologist Howard Carter’s search, after many years, seemed doomed to failure.

But, Carter pressed through and finally unlocked an ancient Egyptian tomb. No one in the modern world had ever seen anything like it. The king’s embalmed body lay within a nest of three coffins, the inner one of solid gold. On the king’s head was a magnificent golden portrait mask and numerous pieces of jewellery lay on the body and in its wrappings.

Other rooms were crammed with statues, a chariot, weapons, chests, vases, daggers, jewels and a throne. It was the priceless tomb and treasure of King Tutankhamun, who reigned from 1352 to 1343 BC. It was 3265 years later, on 26 November 1922, that Carter made this discovery.

Howard Carter made the world’s most exciting archaeological find because he did not give up seeking. He pressed through. He persevered. A river cuts through rock not because of its power but because of its persistence.

God loves you. God does not force himself upon you, but he promises to reveal himself to you if you persistently seek him.

Nicky Gumbel

Bible in One Year 2020 with Nicky Gumbel, day 96

How’s this for persevering (from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians): “Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have laboured and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.” (2 Corinthians 11:24-27 NIVUK) – Child of God, stick with it.

‘DON’T QUIT’

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you are trudging seems all-uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit!

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up, though the pace seems slow,
You might succeed with another blow!

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup.
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint in the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you are hardest hit,
It’s when things go wrong that you mustn’t quit!

Anon

“Consider the postage stamp: It always sticks to a thing till it gets there!”

attributed to Craig Degnan

“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races, one after another.”

Walter Elliot

“By perseverance the snail reached the ark.”

Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892), English preacher.

The Bible shows that:

  • You reap what you sow
  • You reap later than you sow
  • You reap more than you sow

There are seeds of greatness in everyone. We were all ‘born to win’. During the act of procreation somewhere between 200 and 300 million seeds were released. You won! You are, in fact, not one in a million but one in over 200 million. You won that first, all-important race with persistence – you were born to win – so don’t quit now.

R. Ian Seymour, excerpt adapted from Maximize Your Potential

By the mile it’s a trial, by the yard it’s hard but by the inch it’s a cinch!

It is the constant drip, drip, drip of water that has the power to bore through solid rock!

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not – nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not – unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not – the world is full of educated failures. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933), 30th President of the USA

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. And then give up. There’s no sense being a damn fool about it.” – Mark Twain (1835-1910), American novelist and humourist.

Thomas Edison’s laboratory was virtually destroyed by fire in December 1914. Although the damage exceeded two million dollars, the buildings were only insured for $238,000 because they were made of concrete and thought to be fireproof. Much of Edison’s life work went up in spectacular flames that December night.

At the height of the fire, Edison’s 24-year old son, Charles, frantically searched for his father among the smoke and debris. He finally found him, calmly watching the scene, his face glowing in the reflection, his white hair blowing in the wind.

“My heart ached for him,” said Charles. “He was 67 – no longer a young man – and everything was going up in flames. When he saw me, he shouted, ‘Charles, where’s your mother?’ When I told him I didn’t know, he said, ‘Find her. Bring her here. She will never see anything like this as long as she lives.’”

The next morning, Edison looked at the ruins and declared, “There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God, we can begin anew.”

Three weeks after the fire, Thomas Edison managed to deliver the first photograph.

Source: Fresh Packet of Sower’s Seeds, p.73-74 – The Best of Bits and Pieces, 1994, New Jersey: The Economics Press, p.137

There’s a story told about a man during the war who was shot and lay dying in the trenches. A friend learned over to him and asked, ‘Is there anyone I can send a message to for you?’ The dying soldier mustered his remaining strength and said, ‘Yes, you can send a message to this man at this address. Tell him that in my last minutes what he taught me as a child is helping me to die.’ – The man was his old Sunday school teacher. – When the message got back to him he said, ‘God forgive me. I gave up on Sunday school teaching years ago because I thought I was getting nowhere. I thought it was no use.

Nicky Gumbel, Alpha Questions of Life, 2007 edition, Eastbourne: Kingsway Communications, p.185

“I have never tried quitting and I have never quit trying.”

Dolly Parton, U.S. country and western singer/song-writer

“There is a difference between perseverance and obstinacy: one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won’t.”

Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887), U.S. clergyman and leader in the movement for the abolition of slavery

FACT: Thomas Edison patented over 1000 inventions, but he openly admitted that the majority of his patents had originally started out in life as someone else’s idea. Edison was a man of persistence who picked up the ball that others had dropped or discarded, and then ran with it to the finishing line

“I thank God today for the hard, harsh, abrasive times that raked my emotions and absolutely pulled out from under me the thing I was hanging on to… so that there was nothing left but God.”

Chuck Swindoll

Cited in Unlocking Your Legacy by Paul J. Meyer, 2002, Chicago Illinois, Moody Press, p.230-231

“It takes years of struggle and perseverance to become an overnight success.”

Eddie Cantor

Don’t Quit: Ask anybody who invented the telephone and most people will correctly reply, Alexander Graham Bell. What most people don’t know, however, is that the telephone was almost invented years earlier by a German schoolteacher, named Reis. The earlier experiments succeeded in producing a device that could carry whistling and humming sounds but try as he might Reis just couldn’t get his apparatus to transmit and receive voice messages.

A few years later, Alexander Graham Bell discovered the flaw in Reis’s design. A single screw controlled the balance of the electrodes and by adjusting the screw just a thousandth of an inch, Bell was able to transmit and receive human speech. That minor adjustment was the only thing that separated success and failure – that, and a lack of persistence.

Here’s an illustration of the negative effects of persistence, as told by the late Dr Harry Emerson Fosdick (1878-1969), the U.S. clergyman and educator. “On the slope of Long’s Peak (in the Rocky Mountains) in Colorado lies the ruin of a gigantic tree. Naturalists tell us that it stood for some four hundred years. It was a seedling when Columbus landed at San Salvador (Bahamas), and half grown when the Pilgrims settled at Plymouth (Massachusetts). During the course of its long life it was struck by lightning fourteen times, and the innumerable avalanches and storms of four centuries thundered past it. It survived them all. In the end, however, an army of beetles attacked the tree and levelled it to the ground. The insects ate their way through the bark and gradually destroyed the inner strength of the tree by their tiny but incessant attacks. A forest giant which age had not withered, nor lightening blasted, nor storms subdued, fell at last before beetles so small that a man could crush them between his forefinger and his thumb.”

Source: How To Stop Worrying And Start Living by Dale Carnegie, 1953, Cedar Books, London, p.81-82

“When your feet are so tired that you have to shuffle back to the centre of the ring, fight one more round! When your arms are so tired that you can hardly lift your arms to come on guard, fight one more round! When you nose is bleeding and your eyes are black and you’re so tired you wish your opponent would crack you one on the jaw and put you to sleep – don’t quit – fight one more round!”

James J. Corbett (1866-1933) US boxer and world heavyweight champion

‘The Race’

“Quit! Give up! You’re beaten!”
They shout at me and plead.
“There’s just too much against you now;
This time you can’t succeed!”

And as I start to hang my head
In front of failure’s face,
My downward fall is broken by
The memory of a race.

And hope refills my weakened will
As I recall that scene;
For just the thought of that short race
Rejuvenates my being.

II

A children’s race-young boys, young men-
How I remember well.
Excitement, sure! But also fear;
It wasn’t hard to tell.

They all lined up so full of hope
Each thought to win that race.
Or tie for first, or if not that,
At least take second place.

And fathers watched from off the side
Each cheering for his son.
And each boy hoped to show his dad
That he would be the one.

The whistle blew and off they went!
Young hearts and hopes afire.
To win and be the hero there
Was each young boy’s desire.

And one boy in particular
Whose dad was in the crowd
Was running near the lead and thought:
“My dad will be so proud!”

But as he speeded down the field
Across a shallow dip,
The little boy who thought to win
Lost his step and slipped.

Trying hard to catch himself
His hands flew out to brace,
And mid the laughter of the crowd
He fell flat on his face.

So down he fell and with him hope
-He couldn’t win it now-
Embarrassed, sad, he only wished
To disappear somehow.

But as he fell his dad stood up
And showed his anxious face,
Which to the boy so clearly said:
“Get up and win the race!”

He quickly rose, no damage done
-Behind a bit, that’s all-
And ran with all his mind and might
To make up for his fall.

So anxious to restore himself
-To catch up and to win-
His mind went faster than his legs;
He slipped and fell again!

He wished then he had quit before
With only one disgrace.
“I’m hopeless as a runner now;
I shouldn’t try to race.”

But in the laughing crowd he searched
And found his father’s face;
That steady look which said again:
“Get up and win the race!”

So he jumped up to try again
-Ten yards behind the last-
“If I’m to gain those yards,” he thought,
“I’ve got to move real fast.”

Exerting everything he had
He gained eight or ten,
But trying so hard to catch the lead
He slipped and fell again!

Defeat! He lied there silently
-A tear dropped from his eye-
“There’s no sense running anymore:
Three strikes: I’m out! Why try?”

The will to rise had disappeared;
All hope had fled away;
So far behind, so error prone:
A loser all the way.

“I’ve lost, so what’s the use,” he thought
“I’ll live with my disgrace.”
But then he thought about his dad
Who soon he’d have to face.

“Get up,” an echo sounded low.
“Get up and take your place;
You were not meant for failure here.
Get up and win the race.”

“With borrowed will get up,” it said,
“You haven’t lost at all.
For winning is no more than this:
To rise each time you fall.”

So he rose up to run once more,
And with a new commit
He resolved that win or lose
At least he wouldn’t quit.

So far behind the others now,
-The most he’d ever been-
Still he gave it all he had
And ran as though to win.

Three times he’d fallen, stumbling;
Three times he rose again:
Too far behind to hope to win
He still ran to the end.

They cheered the running winner
As he crossed the line first place.
Head high, and proud and happy;
No falling, no disgrace.

But when the fallen youngster
Crossed the line last place,
The crowd gave him the greater cheer,
For finishing the race.

And even though he came in last
With head bowed low, unproud,
You would have thought he’d won the race
To listen to the crowd.

And to his dad he sadly said,
“I didn’t do too well.”
“To me, you won,” his father said.
“You rose each time you fell.”

III

And when things seem dark and hard
And difficult to face,
The memory of that little boy
Helps me in my race,

For all of life is like that race.
With ups and downs and all.
And all you have to do to win,
Is rise each time you fall.

“Quit! Give up, you’re beaten!”
They still shout in my face.
But another voice within me says:
“GET UP AND WIN THE RACE!”

by D. H. Groberg

Persistence alone does not always guarantee success. It is only when we persist with direction and a purpose in mind do we achieve results. I once read of an experiment conducted by the famous French naturalist and Nobel Prize winner, Jean Henri Fabre (1823-1915). The experiment studied the behaviour of a certain type of caterpillar, termed ‘the processionary caterpillar’ – so named because when one of the caterpillars moves off in a certain direction, the others follow suit and fall in closely behind the caterpillar in front. In the experiment Fabre enticed one of the caterpillars to crawl around the rim of a large flowerpot. He then introduced other caterpillars to follow the leader until there was so many caterpillars along the rim of the flower pot that it was no longer possible to distinguish which caterpillar was at the head and which was at the tail of the procession. The caterpillars, oblivious to their futile effort, continued to crawl around the rim, following the caterpillar in front for several days until eventually, one by one, they fell off the flowerpot through exhaustion and lack of food. From this experiment we can see that activity or persistent effort does not necessarily equate to achievement. Sometimes we need to know when to persist and sometimes we need to know when to let go and change direction.

R. Ian Seymour

R. Ian Seymour, excerpt from Discover Your True Potential

“Never forget that the word persevere comes from the prefix per, meaning through, coupled with the word severe. It means to keep pressing on, trusting God, looking up, doing our duty – even through severe circumstances.”

Robert J. Morgan

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas Edison (1847-1931), inventor

The Moso Bamboo plant is native of the Far East. It is grown commercially for use in the construction and furniture industries. However, for up to five years after the sapling bamboo has been planted, even in ideal conditions, there is almost no discernible development. The plant seemingly doesn’t grow. But then, after several years of preparation, the bamboo suddenly takes off, and grows at up to two and a half feet a day, every day, for up to six weeks until it eventually reaches its full height of ninety plus feet. Incredible growth! – But that picture doesn’t quite portray the real truth. You see, for the first five years the Moso bamboo was preparing itself in order to sustain its mighty rise to fame. For the first five years the Moso laid down its foundations with several miles of root system reaching far and wide into the earth. For the first five years the bamboo laid down a foundation that would, one day, support its mighty rise to fame. Our success in life is often comparable. If we are to rise and succeed, then we too must lay down a foundation and develop a root system of beliefs and experiences that will sustain us and prepare us so that we can handle future growth and success.

R. Ian Seymour

R. Ian Seymour, excerpt adapted from Maximize Your Potential

“Look at the stone cutter hammering away at the rock, perhaps a 100 times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the 101st blow it will split in two and I know it was not the last blow that did it, but all that had gone before.”

Jacob Riis (1849-1914), US social reformer, journalist and author

Thomas Edison, the great inventor, was also a great man of persistence. Over the course of his lifetime he patented over a thousand of his inventions, one of the most famous of which was the electric candescent light bulb. The story goes that it took Edison several years and many thousands of experiments before he finally discovered the successful formula that gave the world the electric light that we know today.

Throughout the long course of his experiments, try as he might, Edison just couldn’t manage to make the filament in the bulb last more than a few seconds. Eventually after many hundreds of such experiments, Edison was asked why he continued to persevere after failing so many times. Edison replied, “I don’t consider that I have failed hundreds of times! I have, in actual fact, only succeeded in finding hundreds of ways it won’t work… but it will.” After many more hundreds of experiments, Edison finally succeeded in inventing a light bulb where the filament lasted months, and months and months. Thomas Edison was a man of persistence. So, take a leaf out of Edison’s book and don’t ever give up!

R. Ian Seymour

R. Ian Seymour, excerpt adapted from Maximize Your Potential

“Never give in. Never… Never… Never… Never.”

Winston Churchill (acclaimed as the shortest public speech ever made)

Persistence Conquers Resistance

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Galatians 6:9-10 NIV

“Men are born to succeed, not to fail.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, novelist and dramatist

“Endure all… because after the winter summer comes, after night returns the day and after the storm a great calm.”

Thomas à Kempis

“Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to take up somebody.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), poet

Rome wasn’t built in a day.

(English translation of an ancient Latin proverb)

“I am not the smartest or the most talented man in the world, but I succeeded because I kept on going and going and going.”

Sylvester Stallone (film star and producer.)

A talent judge at MGM in Hollywood once said of Fred Astaire, one of the greatest singers, dancers and actors of all time: “Can’t act. Can’t sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little!”

Source: Intercessory Prayer by Dutch Sheets p.18 also Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, p.74

Keep on Keeping on. Keep going until you’re gone!

Don’t ever give up

Source & artist unknown

“Little strokes, fell great oaks.”

Benjamin Franklin

You have to go through it to get through it and come out the other side. It’s the same for everyone.

Persistence is one thing, pig headed stubbornness is another. There’s no point in running if you’re running down the wrong road. Check the direction markers!

Victory is born out of struggle

“I will persist until I succeed. Always will I take another step. If that is of no avail I will take another, and yet another. In truth, one step at a time is not too difficult. I know that small attempts, repeated, will complete any undertaking.”

Og Mandino

Inspirational Powerful Inspirational true story Never give up! Barcelona 92