Persistence pays off with success

By Joan Clayton: PNT columnist

Do you ever experience failures? Welcome to the crowd. When I make a mess of things I feel defeated. I have to remind myself I’m not perfect. Human beings do make mistakes but learning from those mistakes enables one to pursue success. I am encouraged when I hear about the persistence of others:
Colonel Sanders had his chicken recipe rejected many times before a restaurant accepted it.
Zane Grey was told he had no future as a writer.
Walt Disney failed financially seven times before becoming successful.
Thomas Edison failed many times too before making the light bulb work.
All of these notable people saw failures as learning opportunities.
Persistence requires faith and determination. We must never give up in pursuing our dream. Discouragement may come, but “hang in there” anyway. Keep on keeping on. I love to read about “joy in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5) This scripture reminds me to persevere. Someone has said, “To try when there is little hope is to risk failure. Not to try at all is to guarantee failure.”
One of my mishaps concerned divinity. When it didn’t turn out the first time I couldn’t bear to waste all that sugar. That failure was a real boo boo! So I bought some chocolate chips, melted them and dipped balls of not so hard divinity. My family raved over my candy. One grandson remarked, “This candy is delicious. What kind is it?”
I named it “Boo Boo Balls!”
Writing has been a desire in my heart as far as I can remember. I longed to express my innermost thoughts on paper. Being transparent is hard and I felt like a failure many times. I finally learned I live in an imperfect world with imperfect people.
I certainly am one of those. However, I took great comfort in Habakkuk 2:2: “Write my answer on a billboard, large and clear, so that anyone can read it at a glance and rush to tell the others.” (TLB) I feel I must write to show a better way to live in a darkened world. God has blessed my efforts tremendously.
I like the adage “if you don’t succeed, try again.” To that I want to add, “keep trying and keep trying some more.” I’ve heard all the excuses, “I’m too old. I don’t have the resources. I don’t have the opportunities,” to which I say, “make some.”
The day after I retired from 31 years of teaching, I boldly walked into the Portales News-Tribune and asked the editor if I might volunteer a spiritual column each week. It took courage but because I have had a blessed life, I wanted to give something back to life. The editor graciously granted my request and the rest is history. Psalm 37:4 had happened to me: “Be delighted with the Lord. Then he will give you all your heart’s desires” (TLB). This scripture can apply to your life too.
Most failures occur because of a failure mentality. Just because you have failed in the past doesn’t mean you will keep failing. See yourself succeeding. Adjust your schedule if need be. Take time to enjoy the journey. Pursue that dream God has put into your heart. Be patient. Expect the best. Say, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13). You are a unique person with a unique gift, just waiting to be shared. Sharing that gift returns blessings to your life.
Try it today. Go ahead. Take the plunge. “With God all things are possible” (Mark 10:27). What seems unsuccessful to you may just be the very thing that brings fulfillment in your life.
Be persistent. Turn your failures into success.
“The one who fails is the one who fails to try.”