Many of life’s failures are men who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.
Storms make oaks take deeper root. George Herbert
Endurance is patience concentrated. Thomas Carlyle
The word “stamina” brings to mind a well muscled and proportioned athlete. It makes us think of someone who has endured many hours of grueling and exhausting work. It is the image of someone who has the ability to withstand, survive, and overcome hardships and adversities.
Think of how stamina applies to each of us: our ability to take on life’s obstacles, adversities, hardships, and trials. Are we trained and capable, ready to endure, survive, conquer and to become stronger and even more capable as a result? This is what stamina is all about. The strength and resolve necessary to take on challenging tasks and to successfully persevere through them. Life is an obstacle course. We are required to “run the course”; to experience whatever comes our way. Some of the obstacles are relatively mild, while some of the things that will confront us will seem to be more than our match. Basic military training provides a good mental image of what it takes to develop and acquire stamina. The recruits are “pushed to the limits of their endurance” Some do not make it; most do survive and continue on. The objective is to master their ability to confront and to conquer whatever difficulties and circumstances come their way.
Each of us has our own individual “endurance course”; we must navigate, endure, and successfully navigate. It is our journey through life. Our training starts the day we are born and is not over until the day we die. If we approach this issue with a conditioned and prepared frame of mind, we are much more prepared and capable of mastering the obstacles that will surely confront us. Some of them will be relatively mild; while others will test us for all that we are worth. Ideally, the “stamina” that we have developed through our “months” and “years” of training will help us to survive and conquer all of life’s difficulties.
As we ponder what this means to each of us and how applicable these analogies may or may not be: Remember this: This is basic training. It is not optional, is required and is mandatory. If we are to make it through this life with any degree of success, having stamina is very necessary. No one is exempt. Each of us is required to take basic training. We can whine and cry, but we cannot opt out.
Challenge: How do you deal with your adversity? Do you fall on your face and cry “Why Me; or do you get up and keep on going?” What are you doing to develop your inner strengths and stamina? Stamina comes from taking on life, enduring, and overcoming. Develop resolve and resiliency. Have a never quit philosophy. Find something to believe in that gives you meaning and purpose. Focus on what inspires and enables you.
Wisdom: What does not destroy me, makes me strong. Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
For God hath not give us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. II Timothy 1:7
In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me. Psalm 56:11
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
The stamina to endure and survive all that life throws us is something everyone needs. They are two approaches to this. There is the secular approach, taking on life in our own power. There is the spiritual approach, taking on life not only in our own strength, but supplementing our limited strength with God’s unlimited power. The secular approach may sound noble, but it is limited and will ultimately fail. God’s way is infinitely better.
Prayer: Help me to have the faith and the strength to overcome all of life’s trials and tribulations.