Every now and then, my husband and I will run up to the restaurant by our house and engage ourselves in a little game of ping-pong. With competitive spirit in both of us, we each think that we are skilled around a ping-pong table. I am confident that if an outsider were to watch us, the consensus would be that we could each play at a semi-high level. This all being said, the long-standing record within our personal competition is as follows: Brian 36, Tara 1.
It’s ridiculous! There is just something about his ninja-paddle-style that I cannot seem to conquer. Every game, I start out well. I am confident. I am consistent. I am steady. Eventually, point-by-point, by focus weakens and I begin to make mistakes. An over hit here, a missed angle there, and by the end, my ability feels like it has left me forever and I just surrender to my defeat.
There was, however, that one magical night when I emerged from that restaurant victorious. It may have been the only time I was met with triumph, but that feeling is enough to keep me trying again and again.
“As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered.” – NIV
The struggles and challenges of life will always be hard for us. This is not our home. This is not where we belong. We are going to make mistakes. So many mistakes in fact, that, at times, it will seem easier to just succumb to our environment and give up gracefully. Why must we fight everyday? Why must we always try to be better?
The reason: It is our purpose. God wants something different for us, He wants something better. God wants us to persevere through this world and receive our glory in the next. He has given every tool that we would ever need to emerge from this world victorious. And, better yet, He promises, that the joy of that one victory is well worth the fight for the rest.
Maybe, when we are ready to accept defeat, we should remind ourselves Who we are fighting for.