“You’re not getting through to them,” people might tell us. But persistence wins the day, says St. John Chrysostom. If everyone gave up after the first failure, how would the world go on?
There are some who relax the zeal of others by derision and ridicule, saying, “Stop giving advice; leave off warning; they are not listening to you: you have no fellow-feeling with them.”
Haven’t I persuaded them today? But I shall persuade, perhaps, tomorrow. Or even if not tomorrow, I may the day after tomorrow, or even the day after that. He who today heard and rejected the word, perhaps will hear and obey tomorrow; he who spurns the word today and tomorrow, perhaps in a few more days will listen to what I say.
Even the fisherman often casts his net the whole day in vain; and in the evening, when he is about to depart, captures and takes home the fish that had escaped him all the day long. And if, on account of frequent want of success, we were to live in idleness, and cease from all work, our whole life would be brought to nothing, and not only spiritual affairs but also temporal would be ruined.
Think of the farmer: if he were to abandon his work because he had bad weather once, or twice, or many times over, we all should perish by famine. Again, if the mariner, because storms came once, twice, or many times over, were to forsake the sea, the ocean would become impassable, and in that way also our life would be quite marred.
Thus, going through all kinds of jobs, if people were to act as you urge and advise us to do, all would utterly fail, and the earth would become uninhabitable. All people, therefore, having this in view, even if once, or twice, or often they fail to gain the object of the labor in which they spend their time, still apply themselves to the work again with undiminished alacrity. –St. John Chrysostom, Four Discourses, 1.2
Do I know any people who seem to be especially stubborn in disbelief ?
Have I just given up on them? Is there more I could be doing?
Lord, let me persevere in my calling, and let me always walk boldly along the path you have marked for me.
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