PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT.
When your parents started school, they might have learned to read by reading the Dick and Jane series of books. They read gripping tales about Dick, Jane, and Spot (the dog) like, "See Dick run. See Jane run. See Spot run." Pretty exciting, huh?
Well, your grandparents (or great-grandparents) might have learned to read by using a famous set of books commonly called "McGuffey's Readers." These simple books, published between 1836 and 1857, were used to teach several generations of American schoolchildren to read.
McGuffey's Readers not only taught reading; they taught other important lessons as well. For example, the Readers taught children that perseverance was a good thing:
The fisher who draws in his net too soon
Won't have any fish to sell;
The child who shuts up his book too soon
Won't learn any lesson well.
If you would have your learning stay,
Be patient-don't go too fast;
The man who travels a mile each day
May get round the world at last.
That simple rhyme teaches the truth that perseverance (in fishing, in learning, or in walking) produces success. A person who knows how to stick to a task will usually succeed-maybe sooner, maybe later. If you keep practicing the piano, you'll get better and better. If you keep doing your homework, you'll learn more and more. If you keep exercising, you'll get stronger and stronger.
Perseverance in making right choices produces success, too. If you keep trusting Christ and let him help you make right choices, you'll get better and better at doing so. After all, whether you're practicing the piano or trying to make right choices, practice makes perfect.
REFLECT: Have you ever finished a job that was really hard or that took a long time? If so, how did it feel when you finally finished? Can you name something you've succeeded at because you kept trying or practicing for a long time (like reading, for example, or playing the piano)? Does that success encourage you to persevere at making right choices? Why or why not?
PRAY: "Father, it feels really good to succeed, especially when it was really hard or took a long time. Help me to understand and experience the benefits of perseverance."