Tinsley column: Persistence during COVID-19
Some of you will remember that we adopted Buddy, a tricolor corgi, 11 years ago after he was found starving on the streets of Fort Worth. I wrote his story for my grandkids, “just the way Buddy told it to me”: how Barney the Blood Hound helped him survive on the streets until they were picked up by the dog police. I named the story, “Buddy the Floppy Ear Corgi” because his left ear flopped when we first met.
Like other dogs and pets, Buddy is doing his best to get me through COVID-19. He follows me from room to room and sits patiently near my chair on our back deck. I am always learning something from Buddy.
During these difficult days of “sheltering in place,” he is teaching me persistence. “Persistence” isn’t a word we use much. But we all know what it means: never quitting, never giving up and never becoming discouraged. Like most humans, I am not very good at it, but Buddy is a natural. He communicates most by “persistence.”
If he wants to go outside, he goes over to the door and sits there looking out the glass pane. He never moves. He just sits there until I notice and obligingly open the door and let him out. He does the same thing about coming back inside. If I am eating he locks his eyes on the food and stares, again refusing to move. I can scold him, tell him he isn’t getting anything from me, act as callous and cold as possible, but it doesn’t faze him. He just sits there staring with those big brown corgi eyes until I finally give in. He wins his arguments with persistence.
I need to learn more of that. We humans are always looking for shortcuts to get what we want. We resort to tantrums, tears, weeping and wailing, pouting and protests. We get angry and argue. But it seldom achieves our goals. We need to learn from Buddy. Persistence and peaceful perseverance are irresistible.
This must have been what Jesus was getting at when He said, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and from inside he answers and says, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’”
“I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs. So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened.” (Luke 11:5-10).
Be persistent. Be patient. Don’t get upset. Don’t give up. A better day is coming.
Bill Tinsley reflects on current events and life experience from a faith perspective. Visit www.tinsleycenter.com. Email email@example.com.