Toughness

2008 Snow Pictures 033Stamina, enduring strength and energy, resilience

Concentration and mental toughness are the margins of victory. Bill Russell

Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles.  Alex Karras

Spirit has fifty times the strength and staying-power of brawn and muscle. Mark Twain

“Toughness” can best be described as having the attitude and spirit that does not give up and persists. Going a little further incorporates an aspect of getting back up when knocked down, physically, mentally and spiritually. Being tough means that we have developed endurance and can handle whatever comes our way.

In sports, a good visual image of “toughness” is a boxer. They take blow after blow after blow, getting knocked down, getting back up and continuing to fight on. The conditioned boxer does not give up, does not surrender, and does not say, “I give up”. The boxer is able to do this because of the intense training that has given him the physical and mental endurance that is required to make it in the ring. Life can be much like the boxing ring. Our opponent is Life with all its obstacles, adversities, hardships and disappointments. Sometimes it comes at us hard and without mercy. It can seem that we are confronted by all of our “adversaries” all at the same time, and we find ourselves fighting against insurmountable odds. The struggle can get so intense, that we cannot help but wonder how we will survive through our ordeals. It sometimes takes everything we have just to make it moment by moment. We cannot see through the storm clouds to the sunshine waiting on the other side.

Many of us have had periods in our life where the intensity of the “fight” seemed to take everything that we had. Somehow, we have managed to survive. In the process we get “tougher”. As we get tougher, we become better conditioned for handling even bigger challenges. We are in continuous training. It never stops. Throughout our lives, we will experiences trials, tribulations, hardships and myriads of difficulties. Life requires that we learn to cope and fight through our tough times. It is a continuous struggle and in many respects, always testing our endurance. The tougher we become, the more stamina we will have available to battle through the hard times. This toughness we need comes from taking on Life and anything and everything it chooses to throw at us.

“That which does not kill us, makes us stronger” says it well. When the going gets tough, those with toughness keep on going. See the sunshine on the other side of the storm clouds. Having toughness is a good.

Challenge:  How do you fare in the boxing ring of Life? Rest assured you will have to handle Life’s punches and blows that will come. The more conditioned, better trained and equipped you become, the more capable you are. This requires developing an attitude of toughness. Equip and train yourself to be mentally tough. Develop the attitude of someone who does not quit, gets back up and keeps on going. Learn to live to fight another day.

WisdomBurning desire to be or do something gives us staying power – a reason to get up every morning or to pick ourselves up and start in again after a disappointment. Marsha Sinetar

Spiritual: (NIV):

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:13

Knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.  James 1:3, 4

Be of good courage, and He will strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord.  Psalm 31:24

There is no promise that life will be easy. God promises He will not let life test us beyond our abilities. In some ways He is like our coach and is trying to help us increase our strength and endurance so we can better handle life’s challenges. If we listen to Him and follow his guidance, we will acquire all the strength and endurance we need to handle anything that comes our way. We will find ourselves a “winner” in the boxing ring of our life.

Prayer: Help me to always grow my faith in You as I face life’s hardships, difficulties and challenges.

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