Perseverance is a character trait – a character trait of ants, rams, and snails?
Did you ever watch an ant carry a large cookie crumb to some far away nest? Maybe you commented on the ant’s heavy load, but did you think about her perseverance?
Did you ever see a ram try to butt its way through a fence? You may have laughed as he banged his head against the wood, but did you think about his perseverance?
Maybe you have watched a snail moving along the garden path, leaving a shiny trail of slime. You might have joked about how slow it was, but did you think about the snail’s perseverance?
What is perseverance?
Perseverance is a quality that sees difficulties in what we have planned, but causes us to take action and move ahead through those difficulties, no matter how severe they are, sticking with our undertaking until we reach the end.
Perseverance is impossible without action. If we begin an undertaking and then do nothing, we are quitting.
This character trait requires action that endures no matter what pressure is brought against us.
Ants are not able to exercise the character trait, but they give us a good example of it. They plan to carry home as much food as possible. They take action to pick up the food, and move ahead in spite of opposition such as rocks and logs. They persist in their undertaking until they reach home.
Rams are not able to exercise character either, but look at their example. Once rams decide to break through a fence, they take aggressive action and move ahead with their plan. They endure severe head battering, but keep it up until they accomplish their goal.
The great preacher, Charles Spurgeon once said, “By perseverance the snail reached the ark.” Snails, carrying their houses on their backs, continue their slow journeys in spite of opposition. They endure cold rain, hot sun, mud, and other obstacles, moving slowly onward until they reach the goal.
Perseverance is not just for ants, rams, and snails, of course. They cannot exercise it as a character trait. They exercise it simply because it is the way God made them.
Humans, however, can choose to exercise perseverance. You can choose to stick with worthwhile goals. You can keep going when it seems as though it’s too difficult. You can keep moving ahead when you get discouraged; continue on when everyone else gives up.
Perseverance is not just for ants, rams, and snails – it is for strong character builders.