I’m not sure why we were talking about perseverance.
We were driving from Paradise, Michigan to Sault Ste. Marie as part of what’s become an annual trip up north. You drive south from Paradise about 10 miles, and then turn east on the Curley Lewis Memorial Highway. It runs along the south edge of Whitefish Bay.
We got up and looked at the sunrise. We’d worked a little in the morning on projects for back home, and then drove and talked and took pictures and looked for a rest room.
The word “perseverance” came up in the conversation, and both of us knew that perseverance develops something. We couldn’t remember what. And the trouble with a Bible app is that it may not work in the absence of Internet signal on the Curley Lewis Memorial Highway.
Eventually, the signal returned and she read from Romans 5:
“And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”
We talked about that sequence a little but we talked more about learning about the North Country Trail, a hiking trail that runs across 8 states. And about the color of the leaves along the road. And the schedule for the day.
At the end of the day, driving home from one last visit to Whitefish Point before sunset, we talked about the highlight of the day. Which wasn’t one thing. It included finding surprisingly good coffee at a local restaurant, seeing the ferry to Sugar Island (not taking it, but seeing it), finding the best place to take a picture that would include Canada for a Canadian coworker, running a self-created 5K, driving on roads we’d never driven on in all our trips up here, having really good food in the restaurant, seeing gold trees and then snow-covered trees.
It’s not much of a highlight to anyone other than us. And actually, the highlight is the perseverance.
We think about it as a hard thing, as gritting your teeth and pushing on through obstacles. I think that often, perseverance is showing up, holding together, laughing some of the time, listening a lot of the time, focusing less on the battle and more on choosing in this moment to be faithful. As delightedly, willingly, supportively, working and restingly faithful as you can.