Walking down the street in Truckee California on a warm Thursday evening during Farmer’s Market, Michael and I came across this unique offering.
“Poems. Your Topic. Your price.”
Accompanying this sign was a gentleman poet in a jacket and hat, with some interesting makeup and a manual typewriter that was being held together by tape and baling wire.
Poems. Written spontaneously. Totally unique.
We had wandered up and down the street several times checking out the local wares and saw him writing for various people, mostly young couples it seemed. On about our fourth pass by this gentleman, I suddenly had a thought.
“What if we give this resident poet the word Perseverance?”
I pitched it to Michael, and he was game for paying for a poem, so we approached.
We introduced ourselves, negotiated the price, and then gave him the word.
"Would you like to tell me any more about that?" He asked quizzically.
"No." we responded.
"Okay, I’ll need a few minutes," was his reply.
There was plenty to see and a dinner decision to be made on this lovely evening. So we were happy to wander and wait.
Why would I choose this word for an original poem in the middle of a lovely evening date?
Well first there was the delight of this word that is so powerful but not simple. Our poet's face was priceless and it seemed that perhaps we had given him a bit of a challenge amidst the routine love sonnets. It is a word that has a lot of meaning for me personally as we’ve had to persevere through some stuff. Guessing you have too.
Mostly it is because I love to hear different people’s perspectives and how they frame things. That’s why we chose to give zero context to our poet friend. I didn’t want to sway his thinking.
One of my favorite passages is found in Romans 5:3-5:
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Okay, I don’t love the suffering. Who does? But I do love the fact that when we persevere our character is formed and hope is born. And somehow even though it may take longer than we like, the promise is that hope will not disappoint because it is placed in the One who keeps his promises and gives us His Holy Spirit to comfort and guide us. His Holy Spirit who gives us the strength to endure the suffering, to choose perserverance over bailing out, and over time transforms who we are.
Opportunities to persevere are many and varied.
- Raising kids has its seasons.
- Running a business is rife with opportunities to persevere.
- Staying true to your marriage vows may require seasons of perseverance.
- Living with chronic pain.
- Helping your aging parents.
- Choosing to love in the face of hatred.
- Believing God is good when nothing in life appears to be.
- Fill in your own place of wrestle and struggle here.
Life is full of difficult things we get to persevere through. None of us escapes. It just takes on different flavors. We will suffer and have the opportunity to persevere with or without the encouragement of Romans 5. What Romans 5 does is give us some insight and divine perspective. Revelation that our circumstances aren't random or without hope. It helps us shape meaning out of the hard times.
Perseverance is inevitable. Anything worth achieving requires perseverance! Perspective is a gift.
After one more request for "a little more time" we had ourselves an original poem. Check it out.
To grow any dream from seed takes incredible devotion and ruthless perseverance to manifest. Our poet got that right! I was also reminded of the days before white out and back spacing and spell checkers! Love the authenticity of not being able to change a thing!
What are you working towards that it absolutely kicking your arse right now? Remember that anything that truly matters has to be fought for with ruthless perseverance, but there is hope. Remember that there are seasons. Sometimes they seem to be forever but every season passes.
As one of my favorite sayings goes: It will all be alright in the end. If it isn't alright, it isn't the end!
Never have I been happier for my topic my price! From now on when the going gets tough Michael and I will likely smile and one of us will say "let us be like buffalo."
Let us be like buffalo and stay true to our path of growth and becoming.
What more is there to say?