THE RIGHT KIND OF TENACITY
I am as tenacious as a Pit Bull terrier. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned about tenacity, it’s that there is the right kind of tenacity and the wrong kind. My sweet Jack Russell doggie Billie who has since gone to heaven proved himself in his puppy-hood when he held on so tightly to a sock that I could hold him way up in the air as he held on with his teeth. He would literally hang several feet above the ground with no regard to how he was suspended in the air. He wanted that sock, and he was going to have that sock – at any expense. And he had that sock. He held on for dear life – and just so happened to enjoy every minute of it regardless of the price he paid in his fierce determination, glued focus, and don’t-let-go energy.
Now if you think that’s tenacious, that’s nothing compared with the DECADES I spent holding on for dear life to everything and everyone I needed to let go. Tenacious? I was so tenacious that nothing – and nobody – could cause me, convince me, teach me, coax me, cajole me, provoke me, encourage me, or inspire me to let go. And God, being the perfect gentleman, stood back and allowed me to continue until I realized not only that my tenacity was just about killing me. I had to realize that there was a much better way, and that that way had a name. And that that way, and that name, Jesus Christ, was standing at the door of my heart offering me a phenomenal life if only I would change the object of my relentless, tenacious pursuit.
See, my problem with how tenacious I was wasn’t the tenacity itself. The problem was what, and whom, I pursued with that tenacity. Unhealthy relationships. Deadly addictions. Lost, abusive, broken people. Old ways. Old habits. Old attitudes. Old thinking. Old places. More? Yes. Lots. But I think you get the point. And maybe by now you’re looking at your own life and realizing that you, too, might have some stuff and people you know you need to let go. And maybe you, too, are holding on for dear life just as I did. Yes, maybe you, too, know about the wrong kind of tenacity. Maybe you are tenacious, too, but don’t know what to do with your tenacity. Or, maybe you’ve never even recognized, and acknowledged, until now that you, that you are well stocked in the tenacity department.
Did you ever stop to think there is one thing about tenacity that never changes? It might sound funny, and even obvious. But it’s true, and bears looking at. Tenacity is always tenacious. That’s the nature of tenacity, right? Tenacity doesn’t let go. It doesn’t lose its grip. It holds on, and it holds on, and on. And even when it changes its object of focus, it’s just as tenacious as ever, right?
Regardless of where you fall on the tenacity scale, you might want to consider this. If there’s a wrong kind of tenacity, can’t there be a right kind? The answer is YES. And my life is living proof. Because when I began to loosen my tenacious grip on the stuff and people I needed to release, I began to transfer my tenacity to Jesus Christ Himself. And the more I found myself gripping onto Him, the more I loosened my grip on the things of this world. The more I followed Him, the more I left behind what I needed to let go.
Do you know how I describe my relationship with the Lord today? I tell people I am as tenacious as a Pit Bull terrier with the Lord. Sound familiar? I’ve simply – and finally – transferred my tenacity from the wrong stuff and wrong people to the right person – the person of Jesus Christ. And with all the tenacity with which I have been endued, I hold onto Him for dear life. My grip gets tighter and tighter. I press into Him more and more. My hunger for Him grows greater and greater. I am thirstier and thirstier for Him. I cling to Him increasingly. I seek Him. I find Him. I seek Him more. I fall in love with Him more and more. I am in hot pursuit of Him. The more I find Him, the more I want more of Him. The more I learn of Him in the Bible, the more I want to know. The more intimacy I have with Him, the more I need, and crave, and chase after.
And the more I hold on for dear life to the Lord, the greater I desire to live according to His ways. The greater I desire to do what the Bible teaches me to do. The more I desire to grow in His image. The more I desire to live the abundant life He has for me. The more I desire to love and serve Him. The more I desire to love my neighbor. The more I desire to pursue the calling He has on my life. The more I desire to live the purpose He has for me on this earth. More, more, more. So tenacious. More of Him.
Tenacious? Absolutely. The right kind of tenacity.
Holding on for dear life of the love of my life.
Jesus the Christ.
Mat 5:6 “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”
Dear Father, How I love you! THANK YOU, Father, for my tenacity. I guess until now I always thought of it as the world taught me. A problem. I have been criticized for it. I have been judged for it. I have judged myself for it. And I have probably judged others for their tenacity. Forgive me, Father, for not seeing what a blessing tenacity can be. Thank you, Lord, for helping me to let go of all that I held onto. And thank you for allowing me to hold onto you! I cleave to you, Lord. I love you with all my heart. And I pray for the world, Lord, for everyone reading this and for everyone who is not, that they, too, would fall in love with you. That they, too, would give up all they need to let go, and cleave to you. To become dedicated, committed followers of your precious Son, Jesus. How I love you, Lord. Pour out your Holy Spirit upon all flesh, Lord, and let us see your salvation. I pray, for your will on earth as it is in heaven. Amen!