NO GRIT, NO PEARL. This morning’s run was all heart and mind. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. I have been exhausted from our anniversary week. I’m not sure you understand how much energy and work it takes to plan a week long event plus muster up the energy to see it through and participate fully in everything going on. Not to mention the added bonus and benefit of good preaching and Spiritual worship. Going before the Lord and giving Him your all is good, right, pure and true and can also be quite exhausting.
Receiving instruction and discipline from the Spirit is good, but also is painful. To top it off, fellowshipping and hosting two families wears out any introvert. It was a good week, but I am exhausted. Today’s run was all grit. I remember reading about an ultra marathon runner (whose name currently escapes me) and he has knees that are shot, no cartilage, etc. When he runs, it’s excruciatingly painful; but he runs through the pain. He loves the run. I have a few reasons why I run: 1) to stay looking the way my husband likes me to look; 2) to play with my grandkids; 3) to make it to the end of my race feeling good, as much as it pertains to me. Honestly, it’s a great discipline of my flesh. It helps me to produce endurance. If I only ran when I felt like it or when I never had any pain; I would never run. Running is my grit.
Back to the pearl. A pearl is formed as a reaction to the irritation caused by grit, like a piece of sand getting into the oyster’s shell, and in order to stop the rubbing, the irritation of this grit, the oyster starts to deposit this pearl substance, as a buffer around the source of irritation. When a bit of sand gets into an oyster, the oyster doesn’t cry and complain about how unfair it is or tell the sand to get out. It responds by reflex, slowly and patiently surrounding the grain of sand with layer upon layer of a white substance. It doesn’t happen overnight, but ultimately this layering becomes a pearl that we human’s value and consider beautiful. There is a sermon in there.
““Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”
From Wikipedia “In psychology, grit is a positive, non-cognitive trait based on an individual’s perseverance of effort combined with the passion for a particular long-term goal or end state (a powerful motivation to achieve an objective). This perseverance of effort promotes the overcoming of obstacles or challenges that lie on the path to accomplishment and serves as a driving force in achievement realization. Distinct but commonly associated concepts within the field of psychology include “perseverance”, “hardiness”, “resilience”, “ambition”, “need for achievement” and “conscientiousness”. These constructs can be conceptualized as individual differences related to the accomplishment of work rather than talent or ability.”
How many times have you screamed, “Unfair!” How do you respond when grit gets in your oyster? I watch and listen to people. I know how some respond when things don’t go their way. They get offended, grumble and complain. Put me at a table of people who hate me and I’ll show you a God who favors me in the presence of my enemies. I have not always been this way. Grit is produced overtime and through adversity.
How you handle and overcome adversity reveals a lot about you. Will you be able to endure until the end? I’m not so sure. If you are always the victim and never the villain, you are going to suffer tremendously. Get some grit girl! God doesn’t always deliver us from adversity. He goes through it with us. Learn some lesson from the saints that went before us. Paul endured more adversity than the average man, but he developed grit and pressed on towards those pearly gates. Get over yourself. You are not a victim. You have need of endurance. How do you rate on the scale of passing adversity? Some of you will get an “A+” and some will fail miserably. No grit, no pearl.
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.”
2 Corinthians 4:8-10
To Learn More About Pastor Crystal please visit the Leadership Page