11 Nov 2010

Persevere to the End

Submitted by Stephen Winters

"He who perseveres to the end will be saved." This came to me today, "He who continues to be fully aware and engaged to the very end will be made whole."

I like to play Spider Solitaire on my computer whenever I just have a few minutes. It's kind of a mindless game that usually only takes a few minutes to win. The more I play it, the more I'm able to win more and more games. That's partly because as I play more I"m more aware of how to play better. During the times I've played, I've had a number of games that seemed hopeless. I was in the middle of the game and didn't yet have any sets, and I didn't see any way to proceed. It seemed like I had lost and it is easy to just zone-out (mentally disengage from the game) and give up. But as I've played it more and more I've come to realize that if I stay fully engaged to the very end, I have a very high chance of winning almost every game. By Fully engaged, I mean that I keep my mind fully away and fully on the problem of finding one more move. Sometimes it might mean that I have to back up a couple moves and play the cards differently.

This is much like real life. There have been many times that life seemed overwhelming and I didn't know what to do. The saying comes to me, "Do what is before you (at this moment)". One thing that quickly overwhelms us is when we try to see the big picture and understand what is going on. It just doesn't make sense. Jesus said, "I AM". The Jews wanted to stone him because that is how God calls Himself. But let's take a look at that. "I AM" In the structure of language "I Am" is "Present Tense". God is the god of right now. That brings us back to "Do what is before you (in this moment)". We do what we can in this moment (truthfully, with honor and integrity), and God works out the details.

When we come to the difficult or challenging times in life it is so easy to just want to step back out of the fight and zone out. I believe that God purposefully sends challenging times our way to grow us so that we can handle more and more challenging times. It is as we pursevere (keeping fully awake and fully engaged, acting with integrity and honor) through each challenging time that we become more and more like God's son. It is through these times that God transforms us into His image.

Part of the reason it is so important to keep fully aware and engage all the way through the challenge is there are things that you need to either learn or accomplish before the trial will end. To successfull finish the trial, you must succeed through the trial. The way out is not to escape from the trial. This only makes you have to go through it again. To successfully leave the trial you must learn the lessons of the trial. The lessons can only be learned if you keep fully awake and are fully engaged in working through the tasks of the trial.

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