Thursday, July 5, 2012


Endurance is a virtue we should strive for, right? I mean, Roman 5:3-4 says, "We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know they help up develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation." And Mark 13:13b says, "But the one who endures to the end will be saved."

In more secular terms, endurance is prized as well. My husband is a marathon (and ultra-marathon, occasionally) runner; he knows endurance. I have great endurance in dealing with children and their behaviors. 28 years in public school classrooms have taught me that endurance is sometimes the only way to get through to a student or group of students. My own children have opened that door regularly, too.

Our current living situation has been a test of our endurance in some ways. We sold our house very quickly and moved into our rental home before the landlord was really ready for us. When we moved in, one bathroom was completely gutted and the other had only a very small shower with very poor water pressure. I opted for showering at the local YMCA most days, but my husband showered every morning without complaint.

There have been other endurance challenges in our home: very low water pressure (It took over an hour to fill the washer for EACH wash/rinse cycle); lots of spiders; a leaky roof in several places, including my side of our bed! In each, we have patiently practiced endurance, and our landlord has diligently sought solutions... and found them!

Overall, I think my endurance has been okay.


I no longer have any endurance for it. I have gone swimming, kayaking, played in the sprinkler, laid on the floor in the kitchen (The only room in the house that is truly COOL, despite our two window air conditioners), taken multiple showers each day, and taken refuge in the local public library, among other places. 

I'm still hot.

I'm past my endurance for heat; now I'm simply enduring. Yesterday, my husband ran two races and my daughter ran one. I was a good sport, cheering them on and taking pictures, but I wasn't peaceful about it. I was enduring it. We went to the fireworks display last evening, and I tried to focus on how much cooler it was (It was 91 degrees at 8:30ish.). But I wasn't really enjoying it; I was enduring it.

So what's the difference between having the virtuous character trait of endurance and merely enduring? I think when I am focused on "WHEN will this be OVER?" I've entered the land of merely enduring the torture. It's not virtuous, that's for sure!

Endurance seems to me to be more about being sustained by God's grace. Enduring seems to be in the range of barely tolerating. For me, it certainly includes being slightly (I hope that's all) irritable.

I pray that God will give me more endurance. That He will transform my enduring to endurance. (And that maybe, just maybe, He will see fit to lower the temperatures by 20-30 degrees...)

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