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“Perseverance is an essential condition. In every project firmness and steadfastness will undoubtedly lead to good results.” 6
Today we are going to think about perseverance. What does perseverance mean? Perseverance means is to stick to something and carry on even if things get tough. It is to carry on and on until we succeed.
This is what ‘Abdu’l-Baha said, “Perseverance is an essential condition. In every project firmness and steadfastness will undoubtedly lead to good results; otherwise it will exist for some days and then be discontinued.” 6
Let us talk about what this means.
We may be learning to make music, to learn a prayer by heart, or to have control over a football. All these things take time and there are days when we think that maybe we will not be able to learn. The big thing is to KNOW WHAT WE WANT TO DO. Then we know what we need to do to get there step by step. If we never think about what we want to achieve, we often try one thing and then another and never spend enough time on one thing – persevering – until we get it right.
We have all heard of sports stars of many sorts. They were probably born with a natural talent, but if they did not persevere in becoming better, if they did not practise for hours they would never be the wonderful stars they are.
Sometimes the problem is that we get put off by our parents or our friends who don’t think we can do it. When we know what we want to do, to achieve, we should ask God to help us and then work at it with all our effort and then we will surely succeed.
Sometimes our efforts are for spiritual things. Just think of the early believers in any faith. Family and friends would laugh at them, or try to stop them believing in the Founder of their Faith Many of them were rejected by their families, many spent years in exile. Some were imprisoned and even killed but they persevered, because they knew that God was speaking to them and they carried on doing what they knew was right.
We will try some co-operative activities today. We will make pretend TV presentations.
To make TVs out of cereal or similar boxes and then draw the stories like cartoon strips, on strips of paper. How to proceed –
Cut a rectangle out of one side of the box to be the TV screen (about 10 cm x 15 cm) Then cut two slits – one on each side of the cereal box near the front and in line with the ‘screen’. This is where the paper strips will be threaded in to be pulled across behind the ‘screen’ and presenting one picture (episode) at a time.
It might be a good idea to prepare the box TVs ahead of time.
The children then draw their pictures onto strips of paper showing how people have persevered under difficult conditions. Each picture will show the next episode as in picture comic books or cartoons. They can be numbered from either end and not necessarily from right to left as illustrated.
The children will need strips of paper about 60 cm x 10 cm, joined together with sticky tape if needed. The children should leave a blank section at each end of their strips for the threading. A little practice beforehand might be helpful.
6. Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, p.144