Tag Archives: tenacity

Running and Writing

When you set a personal best, do you call it a one-time success, or try to make it your new normal? Last week I did my best run ever at the gym, but it took everything I had. I wouldn’t have made it without some well-chosen music on my mp3 player.

Running this Monday, I wondered. Could I do it again? Maybe. But did I want to?

Truth: I didn’t want to do it. But I didn’t want to settle for less. I wanted to have done it, and that meant powering through.

Running is a bit like writing:

  • small steps add up
  • I need to pace myself
  • drinking water helps (yes, even with writing)
  • it can be painful
  • watching the timer or distance counter or word count makes it feel harder
  • but seeing the numbers climb does get encouraging
  • there’s a spot early on where I want to quit
  • there’s another spot in the middle where I want to quit
  • there’s a spot near the end where I want to quit
  • my mind has the power to finish me or keep me going
  • regular discipline is crucial: repeated effort does get easier
  • but it’s still hard work
  • prayer helps (yes, even with running)
  • comparing myself to others is a bad idea
  • pressing on can be an act of worship
  • goals must be reachable if I stretch for them
  • breaks are important
  • benchmarks along the way motivate and encourage
  • it all comes back to tenacity
  • no one else can do it for me
  • the right music helps (upbeat worship for running, mellow instrumental jazz for writing)
  • “The End” feels good

Sneakers resting on a laptop computer.

Tenacity: 5 links and a photo

It seems I’m not the only one thinking about tenacity lately (Wednesday’s post was The Tenacity of God). Here are five links worth following:

Mary Waind writes “If a tiny creature refuses to give up when he’s all but done for, Father, help me to seize the thing that’s come against me and fight in faith.” (Beech Croft Tales: Never Give Up)

Author Dan Walsh describes how we gain strength in the “wonderful exchange that happens whenever God’s children turn to Him in times of trouble, instead of turning to other things.” (Dan Walsh Books: The God Who is There)

Reba J. Hoffman reminds us that “Sometimes I won’t see His plan but when I can’t see His hand, I can trust His heart.”  (Magellan Life Coaching:  When You Can’t See His Hand, Trust His Heart)

Jenny Svetec looks at some of the hardships we face and gives us this encouragement: “Cheer Up, Jesus says.  I have overcome and so will you.” ( Jael’s Peg: Look Again)

And Marcia Lee Laycock shares some ideas to strengthen the perseverance of those of us who write. (Writer-lee: Of Muse Jars and Other Essential Things)

Freshwater turtle on a log

What better example of tenacity than a turtle?

The Tenacity of God

Long ago the Lord said to Israel:
“I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love.
With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.
Jeremiah 31:3, NLT*

When I named this blog “Tenacity” I was thinking from my own perspective as a Christian, a human and a writer: so much of what we do is what Eugene Peterson calls “a long obedience in the same direction.”

It can be a slog, but something drives us to keep on, to refuse to quit. If we don’t do our part, who will?

We need tenacity in our faith, to keep believing and obeying in the dry times. To keep applying the lessons God teaches until we finally “get” them—or at least “get” one step and graduate to the next.

We need it in our relationships, in our responsibilities, our jobs.

Writers and other artists may need an extra helping of tenacity because so much of what we create is in our heads, and it battles with a slew of fears and inhibitions just to get out. Then we painstakingly shape it to the best of our abilities, learn more and reshape it again, until it’s ready to release. And then… we need to find a way to share it with the readers/ viewers/ listeners whose hearts we hope to touch.

Most of what I write, fiction and non-fiction, grows from a reliance on God’s character, His strength and His love. His desire to draw all people into relationship with Himself, no matter how much we resist and try to go our own way.

He can be trusted. His love doesn’t get tired of reaching for the wayward and the stubborn. The Bible warns that there will be a day when His invitation ends, but there’s still a bit of time.

God calls His people to be holy, because He is holy. Compassionate, because He is compassionate. Patient, kind, loving, merciful, just … because those attributes reflect His character.

Tenacity? It’s all about God, after all.

God of the highest heavens, who stoops to dwell in human hearts, You keep Your promises, You are patient beyond belief, You work to bring Your plans to fulfillment despite the knots we tie. Help us to be a people of tenacity because You are a God of tenacity. Draw us to Yourself, help us hold onto You as You hold us in the shelter of Your strong hand. And help us live confident in your everlasting love.

Matt Redman’s song, “Never Once,” declares the tenacity of our faithful God.

*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.