It was not a slow day but because of the demands of last week, I needed to slow things down. Gratefully, my thinking chair was not occupied.  Unfocused, my thoughts drifted until I found myself with the question, “What does a “great faith” look like?”  Shortly, the notion of persistence appeared. In the Greek, the word is επιμονή (pronounced epimoní) and is translated as persistence or insistent, tenacity, lacking discretion; incautious; rash as well as shamelessness. (Okay, I did not know the Greek word off the top of my head, I had to look it up.) Persistence is an active and rather descriptive word.  Here are some characteristics — persistent people have a goal or vision in mind that motivates and drives them in reaching their goal. They have a focal point in their life and they devote a major portion of their energies and time toward reaching goal. They have a burning desire – passion. Someone once said, “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” Persistent people have confidence and highly developed habits. They have the ability to adjust and adapt. At this point my pondering shifted and I reflected on another question, “What comes before persistence?” or stated another way, “What does one need first to become a more persistent person?”  You need vision, motivation and passion. You need confidence and flexibility.  But there something else. For me there is something deeper – something more foundational.  To become a more persistent person you have to have belief.   You have to first believe in the goal or the plan or the person. Before you can become tenacious you have to believe in it –whatever it is.  Belief is foundational because if there is no belief there is not trust. Trust is the action of belief and it’s only after believing that passion can be embodied. Nelson Mandela once said, “There is no passion to be found playing small–in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”  I heard it said, you can’t fake passion; you know who has it. Passion puts belief into possibility.  Great faith requires persistence; persistence requires belief and passion. What more?

Scripture Reading: Hebrews 11:6
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”

Reflection Questions:
What does a great faith look like for you?
Who is the most persistent person in your life?
What more is necessary to become persistent?

Prayer: Holy God, let passion overflow as I pursue a helpful path.  Let me live as your beloved, serving others and sharing the good news of your love. Amen.