"Patience and tenacity are worth more than twice their weight of cleverness."
"Do the hard stuff." ~ it's a message that has clung to me for the past few years. This doesn't come naturally for me. My temperament is to take the easier, less stressful path. But the challenge to press through and tackle the hard stuff has taken me to new heights ~ in my walk with God, my relationship with others, and my own journey and the many roles it includes.
I have always admired those who have a built-in bent to jump in and tackle the hard stuff. Our oldest son Joe is one of those people. Since the day I met him when he was only five years old, I saw this inner drive in him to go after the things that others would shy away from. Twenty-eight years later, I see how this trait has served him well. As a kid, it made him a valuable team player in every sport he participated in. As an adult, it's brought him to an enviable place of success in the business world.
Those are the more obvious places where his tenacity has shown through. But there are so many memories of events in his life when that same character trait made all the difference for Joe. I will never forget a week we spent at the lake. Joe was seven or eight at the time. He and his brother had been fishing a good part of the day, and their hefty catches were the highlight of our dinner menu. As hungry boys do, they began to devour their meal, all the more tasty because they had provided the main course. But a look on Joe's face midway through dinner told us something was wrong. He pointed to his neck and told his dad there was something in his throat. My husband Dave got a flashlight and took a peek. Sure enough, there was a piece of fishbone lodged in Joe's throat. Miles away from a medical facility, Dave got his needlenose pliers and told Joe to open wide and stay very still. To my amazement, that is exactly what Joe did. He didn't bat an eye...didn't flinch...didn't make a sound. Dave was able to reach in and retrieve the bone because of Joe's ability as a young boy to stay calm, hold still, and trust his father to take care of him.
Today, I see this trait shining through as Joe recovers from a serious motorcycle dirt bike accident. The pain he has had to endure has been grueling, and the hard work he's put into his healing process has put him back onto his feet.
I can learn a lot from Joe. Do the hard stuff. Don't back down. When in a crisis, trust that my Father will take care of me. Go for the gold. Be the best you can be. Give it all you've got. Some, like me, strive to live their lives this way. Others, like Joe, just do it.
"The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward."