Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Our family at Lauren and Weston's wedding!!!


We had a blessed time together as a family. It was much too short.

What does perseverance look like? When does it cross the line into futility? How does one measure it? What things in life do we need to persevere in and what do we need to simply, stop?

I have been asking myself these questions.

The reality is that we will persevere endlessly in the things that bring us pleasure. Even if we don't "succeed" in the venture, we will continue on, as long as we still find it appealing.

The things I persevere under are probably different than the things you persevere in.

One example that I don't tolerate well, is shopping. Many others love this.

I have to know what I am after. Wandering about a mall to "hunt" down an idea for a gift is tortuous for me. I need to know what I am there for, to find it enjoyable. I can get in and out of a mall in record time, if I am by myself and know what I am after.

In the late Christmas shopping rush, I got into a nearby mall at lunch time, bought all of Deanna's Christmas, ate lunch and was back out and to work in an hour or so. And no, I didn't skimp on her gifts. I just knew what I was after, and got it done.

On the other hand, "hunting" for wild game, I find pleasure in. It calms me. I can be very leisurely about it. I can sit motionless in a tree for hours on end, and find great enjoyment in it. Even if I don't successfully harvest what I am hunting, it has been a blessed time out in God's Creation!

Which one is perseverance? What is perseverance to me, may not be to you.

Sometimes it can be defined by what your spouse or loved ones think of your pursuits.

I can "hunt" in the woods for long periods, but if I come home without any game, I fear my bride will think it a foolish endeavour. She never has given me cause to think this, I just do.

Conversely, if Deanna goes shopping (which she doesn't usually enjoy any more than I do) and comes home empty handed... I think she has been "successful!"

Success can be relative, but in general, does not define whether or not perseverance is futile.

Hebrews 10:36 says, "You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised."

Some could argue that the perseverance in our faith is worthwhile because of what is coming... the promise of eternity. I don't disagree.

However, I also know that when we persevere, others take notice. While they may see foolishness in our endeavors in the moment, they are impacted by our witness and by how we steadfastly remain connected to Him. It draws them to our Savior.

There is still success in this, I know.

The point I am trying to make is that we need to find joy in the process of persevering. If we are joyful through the trials of life, it has a deeper impact on us and others.

Others will always try to define 'success' for us. We need to find 'joy,' not be concerened about the definition of success.

When we are joyful amid perseverance of all types, (yes even when doing that thing we don't enjoy) it impacts others in a positive way.

It's easy to be joyful doing what we like. It is more difficult to have it amid scenarios we don't enjoy (shopping).

I believe this is why so few Christians have real joy as a part of their experience. Success has been defined for them, by the world, and they want it. Many Christian principles run in opposition to this definition, and they are conflicted.

I can think of many times that I would prefer to have 'much,' rather than to endure with 'little,' by worldly standards.

If that becomes my focus in life, I will not have much joy, as I will usually be consumed with trying to get, 'more.'

Learning to be pleased with what I have, and not constantly feeling the need to obtain more is crucial. It is also counter-cultural.

Joy is found in obedience, serving, and most importantly, Jesus. Perseverance is the vehicle for the journey.


dad

33 Comments:

At 6:49 PM, Blogger wenbrunner said...

Hello Higgins Family,
My name is Wendy and I am a friend of Afshin Ziafat, the evangelist who had led your son to Christ many years ago. Since hearing of your Son's journey of faith, and knowing the story of how Afshin came to Christ, I have been conceptualizing a drama that chronicles the coming to faith stories of 5+ different people.

I am an actress in Southern California who lives to tell stories that lead people to the Savior. I do not know what doors to share this will open, but I know that God has called me to write it.

I am passionate that the world knows that God calls us to good works; works that he prepared beforehand for us in Christ Jesus. Not everyone is an Afshin or a B.J., some of them are mothers, tutors, house keepers, and Peruvian policemen... But all have been called, who are called. For He didn't call us out of darkness and into the light to simply keep us there... but to make us light in this dark world.

I don't plan on telling all of your son's story, only snippets, as pertains to coming to faith and sharing faith with others. And then on we go, as a springboard launching us into the next story of faith and unique callings.

I would love to either chat with you or exchange emails.

Because He's coming back, Wendy Brunner

 
At 5:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God Bless,
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At 2:15 AM, Blogger Natalie said...

I wish I could ask this privately, but was the initial infection itself ever identified? I saw a story on Mystery Diagnosis tonight that led me to re-read your harrowing couple of months. This particular story (about Lemierre's Syndrome) ended well, though many involving this illness do not. Something just struck a chord that made me think of BJ.

I still wear my shirt and tell his story. He will have more impact in his short time than many do in a lifetime. I'm so thankful to have known Lauren when we were younger--she was spiritually uplifting to me. I know that BJ was the same way and really wish I'd gotten a chance to know him. A kid about the same age as my brother. Wow.

Thank you all, Higgins' for your example of faith. I feel I know more of my savior for having known you.

Natalie Beltz

P.S.(for Lauren): In case I didn't already congratulate you on Facebook--I am so happy for you and Weston. I've gotten to see some pictures and you looked beautiful (as always)! Congratulations!!!

 
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