Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. James 1:2-8 (NIV)
Right where the entrance to our office parking lot meets the road is a power pole. The lot is small with no turn around so you have to back out. As driver’s negotiate other cars and watch for oncoming traffic, many of them miss seeing that pole and back right into it. Whenever anyone leaves our building, we remind them to watch the pole as they go, but inevitably, someone hits it two or three times a month. Some get cranky and complain, but most leave sheepishly without letting us know. After all, they were warned. The only evidence we have of someone backing into the pole is the shards of tail light lenses. We have quite a collection with all makes and models. So, this week, when we saw that the poles along the street were being replaced with newer ones, I raced out to talk to the workers and ask them not to put the new pole in the same spot as the old one. It didn’t take much sweet talking to convince them, but they had a rule that they had to follow. They could only move the pole five feet before they had to consult an engineer and that would mess up their work schedule. So, we agreed to five feet. They installed the new pole yesterday, and today, a crew came to move the wires from the old pole to the new one. They started about 1:30 and promised to be done by 4:30. With no power, we had no phones, computers, lights or air conditioning, but did not fuss. We were just happy to get rid of that accident causing pole. About 3:00, a strong thunderstorm rolled in with fierce lightning. Still, they kept on working. I hovered around for a few minutes and finally went out and told them to quit working. Actually, I gave them permission to quit working. I said, “If you all are rushing to get this done for our sakes, it is okay with us if you delay your work. Please, stop and wait for the storm to pass.” “No, mam,” they replied. “We’re almost done and want to finish this up.” Fortunately no one got zapped, and we had power again on time. Their determination to finish the job made me think. Now, I am NOT advocating standing in a bucket truck repairing electric lines in the middle of a lightning storm, but their passion was impressive. They did not let a little rain, a little wind, a little lightning and thunder keep them from their jobs. How many times do I say I am passionate about a project or mission and let the least little thing keep me from my task? A cranky person, an unprepared partner, a delay in timing, lack of resources, and I throw up my hands and give up! Instead, if I am convinced that this is work I’m meant to do, I should be like those electricians and persevere until it’s completed.