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In our house, there are many things that demand patience and steady effort: cleaning up, getting in shape, losing or gaining weight (yes, gaining weight takes patience), writing, playing video games, keeping the yard looking alright.

Each of these things can be done quickly, but they don't work out well if you do it that way.

My dog is a cat, a “scaredy-cat.” And I have been violating the first rule of teaching with him lately: do not be mad at the sheep for being sheep.

It happens often enough in sports: you are so tired you can't go on - but somehow, you do go on. Your "faith" in your own strength is gone, but you find a way to persist. 

Now imagine that it is not your physical strength that has failed you but your heart, your emotion, your will itself. 

I think this is what Paul has in mind in 2 Timothy 2:11-13. 

The solution to disappointment, especially when it is disappointment in the spheres we care most about, is to keep going, keep loving, keep believing, keep forgiving, keep trying. All the great stories tell us to keep hoping: in the end, righteousness, truth and justice will prevail.