Lent 2022 | Day 18: Endures

The focus of our thought today is the word endures.

This is an interesting word for at least two reasons. First, it conjures in my mind the idea of continued effort. We live in a world where we have instant access to information. Instant access to entertainment. Instant access to new friends made around the world. It would appear that our threshold for patience has been diminishing with the advancement of technology. This decrease in our ability to delay gratification has truly created a circumstance in which people seemingly cannot control their displeasure when what they want is not readily available.

When we as a group of people or as individuals are consumed by our own sense of entitlement we no longer fear or care about harming others in order to get what we want. This may seem like a dark and pessimistic view of the world. But I would disagree. If we accept what the Scripture tells us about the human heart, that is wicked (Jeremiah 17:9), that it is made of stone (Hebrews 8:10), and that it is deceitful we can calibrate our engagement with the world more consistently.

Second, the word endures serves as a reminder that the goal is not just around the corner. It is the difference between the proverbial marathon and sprint. This imagery is often used to describe the need for us to recognize that some goals will take time to achieve. It may seem a bit trite to some, but I find it helpful to remember that most things in life will not happen immediately.

The most important things in life will take time to do well.

In the midst of the daily grind of living, we should not lose sight of the fact that the most important things in life will take time to do well. When we try to short-circuit the process of growing and maturing as individuals we invariably deny ourselves the wisdom that is earned in the process. The longer we cut corners the more difficult it becomes to grow.

The ever-growing tendency that we have to find the quickest and easiest route to where we’re going blinds us in ways we do not always anticipate. Every choice we make has consequences. And every consequence impacts the future choices we will make. This is why it is better to decide more slowly than to make quick decisions in the heat of the moment. When we are deliberate in our decision-making process we create the room we need in order to achieve the goals we have set. This is not a guarantee, but it does improve our chances of success.

In this season of Lent, we are called to a time of self-denial for a period of 40 days. In that time we may find ourselves trying to get out of the burden of it. But if we convince ourselves that this is just an arbitrary activity we will have proven to ourselves that we have not understood what it means to endure. Just because something can be classified as mundane or ordinary does not mean that it cannot have a lasting effect.

As we continue toward Easter morning take this time to ask yourself why you should choose to endure?

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