Keep paddling

And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good. 2 Thessalonians 3:13 (NIV).

The Word of God teaches us that persistence pays. As it says in James 1:12, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” What a wonderful promise. It reminds us that if we endure we will be victorious. So keep on keeping on. Keep swimming against the tide. Keep fighting the good fight (cf. 1 Timothy 6:12). “Never give in. Never, never, never, never. In nothing great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense” Winston Churchill. For the tide that goes all the way out is the same tide that comes all the way in. And “no one would ever have crossed the ocean if he could have gotten off the ship in the storm” Charles F. Kettering.

Yes, we need to remember that prospects often seem dimmest just when they’re on the turn. So don’t throw up your hands when a little more effort will make all the difference. Press on. And don’t forget that a little more persistence can turn a hopeless situation into a great success.

This is wonderfully illustrated in T.C. Hamlett’s poem:

Two frogs fell into a can of cream,

Or so I’ve heard it told.

The sides of the can were shiny and steep;

The cream was deep and cold.

“Oh, what’s the use?” said No. 1,

“Tis fate – no help’s around.

Good-bye, my friend! Good-bye, sad world!”

And, weeping still, he drowned.

But No. 2, of sterner stuff,

Dog-paddled in surprise,

The while he wiped his creamy face

And dried his creamy eyes.

“I’ll swim awhile, at least,” he said –

Or so I’ve heard it said –

“It wouldn’t really help the world,

If one more frog was dead.”

An hour or two he kicked and swam.

Not once he stopped to mutter,

But kicked and swam, and swam and kicked,

Then hopped out via butter!

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