Saturday, September 30, 2006

Setbacks and Perseverance

To persevere is to continue in a course of action, in spite of difficulty or with little or no indication of success. My mother used to say, “Try, try again, and if you don’t succeed try again!” Sometimes that’s the lot of the boat builder, but for me, although I’ve had success with my latest project, building a Paradox trailer sailer, now and again, I have had to persevere until a particular item came right.

It is said that genuine Christian saints have this characteristic of ‘persevering’ with their faith - although they have their setbacks. Life for them is no bed of roses; indeed, because of their beliefs they can suffer ridicule and prejudice. Some would say that could apply to any person who practises a religion, and that atheists or agnostics also have their setbacks. The the rule of setbacks is universal,and perseverance may be needed to overcome them.

Boat building can become a sort of religion in which the rule of perseverance must be practised; without adherence to this rule it's unlikely a boat would ever be built. Without persistence, a boat builder is lost. He cannot be fainthearted. He must try, try and try again, until all problems are overcome. He has to be bold and confident. Once he doubts his ability to succeed, he is lost.

There can be little activity more stimulating for the boat builder than setting about his project. Whenever he tackles a new job, large or small, there is always a constant challenge. How best can each task be done well? He has to plan every sequence; then make available the necessary tools and materials before building that particular part. If the job goes wrong he must try again; perhaps by tackling it in a different way to achieve success. Perseverance is a fundamental characteristic of the successful boat builder.

By overcoming setbacks through perseverance the boat builder is richly rewarded. He has the satisfaction of seeing his progress, and, eventually, if he perseveres enough, he will have the greatest reward when he sees his finished vessel.

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