I am going to talk to you today about persistence. MOM was reading the scripture she is using Sunday from Luke 18:1-8 about the persistent widow. Well who knows more about persistence than us dogs? My Buddy Bert is very persistence when it comes to wanting to go in the water or playing ball. Our friend Sophie is VERY persistence when it comes to be by Bert's side, or running along with him, or pouncing on him, or biting him, just being with him. I have persistence when saving sticks. Persistence is just a part of us doggies. In fact a word to describe persistence is "DOGGEDNESS". So let's get started. The photos you will see are from a recent play time with my friends and when MOM and I took a nice Autumn walk.
If your peeps have ever tried to housebreak a new puppy (maybe it was even you), you know that the key to success is consistency. They must always take the puppy out the moment it wakes. They must never let it whine and look like it needs to go without whisking the little one outside. And if they let the puppy get away with any indoor accidents, well you know what will happen, you can bet that the pup will return to the scene of the crime for a repeat version of its indiscretion. The same absolute consistency is required of anyone trying to run the gauntlet of the check-out counter with a child in tow. It's an absolute, positive law of the universe that a kid (regardless of age) is going to suddenly, desperately need whatever is being sold by the check-out stand in that particular aisle.
A child knows (and so do we dogs) that if they/we beg, moan, screech, or scream long and loud enough, there's a good chance that the "adult-in-charge" may cave in - either out of embarrassment, or exhaustion, or because some primitive survival gene suddenly takes them over.
The justice-seeking widow in Luke 18:1-8 is as annoying and irritating and doggedly persistent as any child in the check-out line . . . or any puppy trying to get outside or get a treat. Or in Bert's case to get permission to go in the water.
The widow in the Gospel of Luke knows the power of persistence. It seems to be the only power she possesses. And she wields this power with unfailing tenacity and skill.
Persistence pays, and nobody knows that better than a dog. When was the last time you sat frozen next to your peep through an entire meal, gazing up with those Bambi eyes we all have, drool dripping from the sides of our mouth? How many times have they caved and tossed us a bite by the end.
This widow's in-your-face annoying presence was so great that this judge, this man who neither feared God nor had respect for people, felt completely beaten up by her powerless persistence. This judge's eyes were not opened to justice. His heart wasn't warmed with compassion. His spirit wasn't compelled to righteousness. This judge simply wimped out and wore out.
But this parable that Jesus gave isn't just about persistence. It's about persistence coupled with prayer. When you yoke persistence with prayer, you get revolution.
All the persistence in the world doesn't pay off without the engines of prayer to power our lives, to make our hopes and dreams soar in the Spirit.
Persistence alone isn't enough. Only when persistence is yoked to prayer will transformation take place.
My MOM says that Christians are imperfect.
Butt she also says that they should be a humble people who love sacrificially, forgive generously, welcome unconditionally, act irrationally, live gratefully, listen constantly, and pray persistently . . . which enables us, in the face of death, to choose life; and in the face of violence and hatred, to choose peace.
My advice to you my friends... keep up your persistence and if you add prayer to it the sky's the limit as to what can be achieved.