Beliefnet
Safe Place with Ruth Graham

I have been away because my computer died. As in DEAD. NADA. GONE. So discouraging and so aggravating. Now I am trying to learn a new computer and the one program I used the most changed! I am frustrated with the changes! I don’t have time to “play” with it turn learn but if I don’t, it will only be more frustrating!

But I’ll get there – eventually.

I can get really discouraged when I try to lend something new and can’t seem to put all the necessary prices in the correct order. Or when I struggle to break a bad habit and fail more often than I succeed.  Or when I am trying to establish a new, good habit and keep falling back into old ways! Or when I make the same mistake again!  Or react in a way that caused more damage. I a sure you know the feeling!

I usually beat myself up with negative self-talk using words like “idiot”, “stupid”.  Or have thoughts like “Why did you do it that way?”, “Look what you’ve done now.”, “You’ll never get it right.” Or compare myself to someone who is proficient – that just makes me want to quit!

Negative self-talk is self-destructive.  But we all do it. We compare ourselves to others and it’s usually not in a favorable way. A couple of years ago my church group had dance lessons. I always wanted to dance but never had the opportunity – it was frowned upon. I thought this would be a great chance to learn with friends. Oh how I tried! Finally the dance instructor took over from my partner to see if he could help. After about 15 minutes of working with me he said,”Why don’t you just go and sit down!” It looks like such fun.The dictionary defines “perseverance” as, “steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, in spite of difficulties, obstacles or discouragement.” Tenacity comes to mind.

It reminds me of a silly song Frank Sinatra sang about the ant and a rubber tree plant. Maybe you remember it!

“Next time you’re found

 
With your chin on the ground
There’s a lot to be learned
So look around

Just what makes that little old ant
Think he’ll move that rubber tree plant
Anyone knows an ant, can’t
Move a rubber tree plant

But he’s got high hopes
He’s got high hopes
He’s got high apple pie
In the sky hopes

So any time you’re gettin’ low
‘Stead of lettin’ go, just remember that ant

Oops, there goes another rubber tree plant
Oops, there goes another rubber tree plant”

That is, indeed, silly but the point is made not to give up – even if the task seems impossible. I am still tempted to take private dance lessons… it looks like such fun! However, I have no sense of rhythm – none – zip! But scripture encourages us “not to be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall keep, if we faint not.” Keep on keeping on.

 

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