A friend told me about a little boy who tried to build a birdhouse. He couldn't drive a straight nail or saw a straight line. When he finished, he had a rickety little box that wouldn't protect the birds from rain and wind. He laid down his tools and said that he guessed that he would never try that again. And he didn't.
Years later, the boy now a man, patiently built two beautiful boats. His failure really had not been a failure at all--he had learned from it! For many of us, sometimes mistakes and errors are the beginning of success. I suspect that during times of relaxation the young man had visualized in his mind how to take that rickety birdhouse apart and put it back together again with perfection. Then the pattern of thinking it all the way through became his pattern until it was his habit.
Like the boy, we may begin with an inner compelling drive to succeed. Yet what we are as we start out is far from the ideal set before us in the New Testament. Jesus says, "Be ye perfect as the Heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:48) We think about Jesus' words and we consider our inner drive, then we choose to persevere. The Holy Spirit strengthens us to persevere right in the face of failed attempts.
We persevere. And then when the faraway goal is finally close, our Lord says, "Well done good and faithful servant." (Matthew 25:23) Because Jesus knows that you are His persistent loved one, filled with potential, and you've placed your life in His care.
Rev. Patricia E. Walker, AlphaChurch.org