“Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory.” William Barclay – Twentieth century Scottish author and theologian
April’s theme came to me in a flash – as always I open myself to what I’m feeling on the first of each month and endurance surfaced immediately. The COVID 19 Virus has demanded endurance of us all in some form. No one will be spared. We are becoming athletes, perhaps not physically, but certainly in mind and spirit. Some of us will make it through, relatively unscathed, being able to “shelter-in-place” in the comfort our own homes. I’m one of those and deeply grateful that I’m able to do this, at least short term. Others are bravely working on the front lines, tending to the sick and dying. My respect and appreciation for their dedication is unbounded. And then there are those who must continue to work, providing us with essential services so we can continue to buy our groceries, medications and get our mail, etc. My appreciation for this access is made real. Oh my God, the thrill of scoring a 24-pack of toilet paper can make my day! Never again will I take for granted their willingness to provide.
Over a million people have been afflicted and thousands upon thousands have died. My heart grieves for their suffering and loss. Millions more have lost their employment and livelihood; I empathize with them as I too, have lost my income stream. In my case, I’m blessed with the creativity to re-invent myself. My personal “endurance challenge” is to stay the course and keep working on my re-invention!
I worry about the poor, the homeless and all the children who now can’t go to school, many in areas with no internet and thus without education as well as the many who won’t even have access to the school lunch program, perhaps their one nutritious meal of the day. I pray that they will all get help by the heroes of our day – those fighting for their cause. May they all prevail, endure and ultimately thrive.
Although the word endurance holds a negative within its meaning – “the fact or power of enduring an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way” – there is also a positive seed planted within the word itself. I see the word durable within endurance. I, for one, want to purchase things that are durable, that will last: my car, washing machine, even my clothes. I want to be durable, to be able to withstand the challenges that life brings, to last.
Both endurance and durable share the same Latin root deru, which means to be firm, solid and steadfast. That’s why I chose the above quote from William Barclay. While there may be failure, loss and hard times within this crisis, may we take this opportunity to grow in our durability. To persevere and draw upon our deepest reserves of courage and compassion will be nothing less than a glorious testament to our ability to endure.