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Posts Tagged ‘perseverance’

     I never had much of it earlier in life…patience, that is. I kind of wanted to speed up results, don’t you see. I didn’t realize that sometimes things take time to fall into place. You know, this has to happen before something else happens in order to effect the best outcome.

     When I was a young boy, for example, I would try to accelerate Christmas by snooping out likely gift caches long before the calendar date came around. One particular year, with methodical reconnaissance I discovered an attic concealment; the pre-purchased, pre-wrapped “mother” lode, if you will. For some psychological reason, I still remember a mechanical wind-up rabbit toy from the stash that I test-cycled on its hare-rollers repeatedly prior to the appointed time. When official opening day arrived, I was ashamed that I had spoiled the expected wide-eyed surprise and joy of receiving a new gift given, which my folks traditionally anticipated as they looked on. That childhood experience was enough to deter me from pre-nativity explorations from then on.

     As a young man, I was introduced to the experience of scouting. I am thankful for my parents and those local leaders who kept me involved. I progressed through Cub Scouting (Tiger Cubs, Wolf, Bear and Webelos) and then continued into the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) flagship program of Boy Scouting. Boy Scout goals include inculcating values such as trustworthiness, community service and outdoor skills. A plan of activities is designed to achieve the aims of character development, citizenship training, and physical fitness. The Boy Scout Motto is to “Be Prepared”.

     With a seed desire, and encouragement, a Boy Scout moves through a series of ranks including Tenderfoot, Second and First Class, Star and Life, each rank being a foundation for the next higher rung on the ladder. One cannot jump from Tenderfoot to Star rank because he must develop the step-by-step character and skills necessary to achieve the next level. By exercising purposeful perseverance and diligence, a scout must work through the entire program requirements to reach the top rank and honor, which is that of Eagle Scout.

      Boy Scouts can only receive the honor of being an Eagle Scout after they have first completed additional service projects and obtained more badges than is expected of a regular Boy Scout and been more involved in a leadership position within their troop. Eagle Scout candidates must be active members in their troops for six months after receiving the rank of Life Scout. They must also demonstrate that they live their daily lives in accordance with the Scout Oath and Law(trustworthy, loyal, helpful…obedient..), earn 21 merit badges, plan and execute a service project, and have a conference with the scoutmaster to state ambitions and life goals. Candidates must complete all of these tasks before reaching the age of 18.

     Well, I became an Eagle Scout, and without a doubt the program is perfectly encapsulated in a sage declaration right out of Willa Mae’s borrowed reader (it’s like a farmers’ almanac or somethin’). “Don’t lose heart and grow weary in doing a good work, for in due time and at the appointed season you shall reap a harvest of blessing, if you faint not.”  Hee-Haw!  I thought I was going to faint a couple of times out on those wilderness twenty-mile hikes, swimming a merit-badge mile, eating a raw egg out on the Order of the Arrow trail, and in some of those Board Reviews, just to cite a few examples. Nevertheless, this early regimen harvest yielded not only the achievement of the Eagle rank, but also the seminal development of important and lasting personal characteristics of order, steadfastness, endurance and patience.

     Patience itself is a mark of maturity and wholly suited to the agriculturalist spirit. The farmer must wait patiently for his plantings to grow. He cannot hurry the process.  He knows that the seed will produce. It is so powerful that the overlying soil can’t keep it in the ground. 

     He waits for the precious bounty of the earth even when it seems like nothing is happening. The farmer goes to bed and gets up, goes to bed and gets up, but he does not take the summer off hoping that all goes well in the fields. He cultivates, sprays, prays, readies harvest equipment, and may contract grain with expectation in advance, through the early and late rains. This is his work of faith. He is looking forward to the future reward of his labor, having developed efficacious conformity to that principle of seed, time and harvest.

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