Nancy and I drove about 2000 miles recently. We started driving. We got to our destination. We started driving home. We got home. Between the stopping and starting, we had a good time with friends. In between the starting and stopping, there were stops, there was food, there were a couple of nights in hotels. In between, there was conversation and silence. There were plans and reflections. There was depth and laughter.
In between, we spent a lot of time in our vehicle. When Nancy suggested the word “persevere” for today, I first thought about the times I’ve written about Eugene Peterson’s A long obedience in the same direction. I thought about Paul’s encouragement to press on. I thought about resolutions and commitments.
But I realized that persevering often looks less like deep philosophical or theological commitments and more like getting behind the wheel (or the dash) and moving. It looks like continuing to breath, continuing to show up. It looks like keeping the “why” in the back of our minds while we drive. It looks like noticing the snow and the deer and the hawks. It looks like stopping for the night rather than driving until exhausted, because resting is part of the journey.
We made countless right decisions about which road to take and I made a couple of wrong decisions, which were correctable. And we don’t remember the right or wrong decisions. We remember going and getting there.
Persevering doesn’t have to always be painful, always be hard. And in the context of the table at the end of the journey and the people on the journey, persevering can actually be a good experience.
Be encouraged today, friends, as you climb behind the wheel of the day, the work of the day, the conversations of the day. The journey and the destination can give us life.