Brady: Best at not quitting

Published 3:47 pm Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Hal Brady
Owner and operator of a Christian ministry in Decatur

read somewhere about a man who audited a doctoral seminar on leadership. One day the professor asked each of the 16 participants in his class to tell one thing at which they excelled.

The man said that he dreaded questions like that because he still was not sure of what he did best. And besides, it sounded to him like bragging. But when his time came all he could think to say was this, “I am best at not quitting.”

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At first, that answer sounds a little strange, but when you consider all the obstacles we face in life the power to persist is remarkable.

First, the power to persist is emblematic of the example of Jesus. It is almost impossible to imagine the heartache that Jesus must have felt as he walked into his hometown to find the people he loved didn’t understand him.

These people not only didn’t understand him or accept his message, they actually expressed hostility and even contempt for him. Jesus’ morale had to be at a low ebb.

So what did Jesus do in the face of such discouragement? What did he do when he was tempted to say, “I’m sorry for me?”

He refused to quit.

It is reported that a visitor attended a Metropolitan Opera session at Atlanta’s Fox Theater. Somehow, he mistook the intermission for the end of the program.

The visitor began commenting on the quality of the opera while getting his hat and coat to go home. The last half of the program, even with the grand finale, could hardly relieve the man’s embarrassment. Truthfully, life isn’t over simply because the curtain closes momentarily. Chances are it’s just the intermission. Jesus refused to quit and did what he could.

Second, the power to persist is making the best of the situation! One of the valuable lessons I learned from my family and extended family when I was younger was this: you can always make the best of the situation.

During her lifetime, there were those illnesses. She had a brain tumor, open heart surgery, the balloon surgery, a stroke and a number of other lesser surgeries. However, all that time she quietly endured or persisted. To say the least, she made the best of the situation.

We, too, can always make the best of the situation. Third, the power to persist is trusting that our impossibility may be God’s possibility. We take our cue here from the Apostle Paul.

He’s writing of his imprisonment in Rome and says, “I want you to know that the things that have happened to me have actually advanced the gospel.