“Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9 (ESV)
Have you seen the Army guarding the tomb of the Unknown Soldier?
How they don’t stop even in severe weather?
The Old Guard, members of the Third Infantry Regiment, keep 24 hour, 365 days/year watch over the Tomb on the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. Here is a video of the guarding the tomb:
According to the Society of the Honor Guard web page:
“Tomb Guards are handpicked and rigorously trained. The duty at the Tomb is not for everyone, with the majority of soldiers who begin Tomb Guard training failing. Tomb Guards describe their service as a privilege and an honor, and are undeniably proud of their service. They are part of an unbroken chain of soldiers dating back to 1926. The ideals of the Tomb became the Guidepost for their lives, as well as a motivating factor and measuring stick for future endeavors.”
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Their service is an example of what it means to “not grow weary of doing good” (perseverance).
What an honor to be selected to Guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It takes training, responsibility, dedication and perseverance to fulfill their commitment. How many of the chosen are able to complete the two-year tour of duty being on guard, and not quit?
Have you ever asked yourself “what is the difference between patience and perseverance?”
According to “Growing in the Fruit of the Spirit”, published by Gospel Light, “Patience is the ability to wait for something, even when it might be difficult to do so. Perseverance is the sticking to a task and attempting to accomplish it in a determined way, despite any obstacles that might appear or hindrances that might get in the way.”
The soldiers guarding the tomb demonstrate to us the value of perseverance.
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (ESV)
In Scripture, Paul uses the illustration how a runner and then a boxer prepares and competes. In the larger picture, Paul is writing on the need for believers to share the Gospel.
How does an athlete or soldier train? They must discipline themselves in the areas of diet, exercise and sleep as required in their training. They cannot be half-hearted and out-of-shape. They aim and focus on winning the prize or completing their duty. They are in a battle that will take perseverance in order to compete and win the prize.
As believers, we need to realize that the flesh, the world, everyday affairs, personal interests, and often simple laziness hinders spiritual growth and preparation for service. Even good things can interfere with the best.
So, we need to prepare and run the race, and not to grow weary while doing good. Keeping our eyes on the imperishable prize. Do not give up. Persevere!