How many jugglers do you need to change a light bulb? Just one, but lots of lightbulbs.
Thomas Edison, is considered to be one of the most prolific inventors in history, and his work greatly influences our lives here and now in the 21st century. Amongst other things, he is credited with patenting the first commercially successful incandescent light bulb in 1879. Interestingly, when Thomas Edison was a boy his teacher told him he’d never amount to anything, that he was too ‘dim’ (excuse the pun) to learn anything. But Edison was a man of perseverance. He tried more than 9000 experiments before he arrived at that first successful light bulb. And before he finally found an effective formula for his alkaline storage battery, he allegedly said, “I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”
Sometimes, like for Thomas Edison, perseverance is needed to see through a task, a mission, an assignment. To press on towards the vision when what looks like failure tempts us to give up. Sometimes, it’s needed to just keep on keeping on in life, in faith, in hope, when the going gets tough.
For people who are seeking to make a fresh start after a time in prison, perseverance is one characteristic that is needed in shedloads. For many, having a trusted mentor to encourage, inspire, motivate, light the way ahead, and just be there for them, can make all the difference, enabling them to keep on keeping on, rather than throwing in the towel.
But perseverance is something that we all need in the ups and downs of life and perhaps now, in these ongoing challenging and difficult times, as much as ever. The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans, reminds us that going through trials produces perseverance; perseverance produces character; and character, hope.
The great news is that Jesus, the very light of the world, offers to walk with us, to give us the strength we need to persevere through the challenging times, and to illuminate the way ahead in our sometimes perilous journey of life.