Single-Minded and Steadfast

It is relatively common for people who facing criminal charges to sincerely plead that they have learned their lesson and will not do “it” again when they have a chance to address the court.  They mean it.  Everything in them says this is too painful to submit myself to it again.  As a result, they can plead for mercy with conviction that a grant of such mercy would be wise.

Of course, the judge has the obligation to view things with neutrality and measure mercy with justice.  The judge can believe the defendant’s sincerity of remorse and still appropriately exact a difficult ruling to dispose of the matter at hand.  The judge, when faced with a merciful opportunity but a just conclusion, is actually operating from a position in line with absolute Truth.

The Truth is that the trials we find ourselves in either as a result of our own bad choices or circumstances beyond our control demand fullness beyond our point of pain.  That is, when we persevere through the point of pain our patience is developed to walk through adversity.  When we are patient to allow the adversity the fullest measure of its consequence, we gain the advantage of increased endurance, character and faith if we choose to allow it to manifest.

Unlike the defendant that depends on the court’s ruling, we usually have a choice to stop the pain early.  If we choose to avoid pain at all costs, we have robbed patience the opportunity of maturing to its fullness.  The trial brought an incomplete measure of development in us, leaving us with a missed opportunity.  The wanting of a fuller measure of growth is failure within failure.

The only way to stand through the storm and accept the fullness of the development is a deliberate steadfastness with vision beyond the immediate challenge.  When we know what our destination is, we don’t rely so heavily on our immediate comfort that we sacrifice growth which facilitates the journey towards the goal.

So as we decide to seek wisdom and diversity of knowledge, a prerequisite is that we purpose our decision with single-mindedness.  If we are double minded, we will bail out at the first sign of trouble after taking a beating without the benefit of the growth.  Once we bail out, that opportunity is void of any further fruit.

It’s not easy to stare into the coming storm, already feeling the wind and rain of the outer band and decide intentionally to face it head on.  The difficulty has begun, but the decision for patience to endure to the end is usually ours.  The expectation that the storm will make a way for the Light of a new day to shine through us brighter than before is a faith that will allow us the steadfastness to persevere in increasing measure.

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