On 18 February, after 203 days of flight, the US robot ‘Perseverance’ touched down on Mars. The goal of its mission is to explore the surface of the planet for the next two years. The rover’s name ‘Perseverance’ is very appropriate for its eight-year development period, its 472-million-kilometre journey and its mission of exploration on an inhospitable planet.
The current Covid 19 pandemic crisis, which has lasted more than a year, has required a lot of perseverance on our part. The accompanying symptoms are often social distancing, lack of fellowship, alienation, dejection, uncertainty about the future and for many also loss of goals and of faith. In all these difficulties, personal discipline and perseverance are urgently needed. Charles Swindoll gives the advice: ‘If you’re running a 26-mile marathon, remember that every mile is run one step at a time. If you are writing a book, do it one page at a time. If you’re trying to master a new language, try it one word at a time. There are 365 days in the average year. Divide any project by 365 and you’ll find that no job is all that intimidating.’ Hebrews 12:1-2 admonishes us to ‘run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith’.
Therefore, despite all the things that cause us trouble, we should persevere and not lose sight of the goal. With regard to the challenges of life and of faith, the famous Christian author C.S. Lewis wrote: ‘God knows our situation; He will not judge us as if we had no difficulties to overcome. What matters is the sincerity and perseverance of our will to overcome them.’
Dr Klaus Bensel (secretary of FEET)