I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
I remember it well.
“Pucker your lips. Take a deep breath and blow gently.” Learning how to whistle can be a momentous task for a little person. My son was five and he was determined to sound like a bird.
If I was to remain a contender for mother of the year I had to be at his beckoned call, guiding him through the puckering process.
“Pfffft…but I can’t do it, mommy,” came the pathetic wail.
“Yes you can, sweetheart. Keep trying. Keep practicing and you’ll get it.”
I was beginning to sound like an Olympic coach.
No one dared stand within five feet of the lad during training sessions for fear of being caught without a towel. He was sensitive about his attempts, too. If anyone laughed at his fizzled “pffffts” we’d be in trouble. He had the will and he was persistent in his pursuit.
One day my son’s brown eyes sparkled with joy.
“Mom! I did it!”
I was equally excited when I heard the little peep.
"Super! Keep practising!" I said as I picked my little lad up and hugged him.
His tenacity was rewarded. His determination compensated. My son could whistle, albeit one little peep. His sweet one note whistling continued for a while. Then one day my little whistler came home from school looking dejected.
“What’s up sweetheart?” I asked.
He confessed all. “Mandy said her three year old brother can whistle a lot better that I can, Mommy!”
He was devastated. Stifling a giggle I told him not to worry. I reminded him about the importance of practicing to get better. So he kept at it. His occasional peeps eventually progressed to continuous ear-piercing sounds. Eventually he managed his own rendition of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. My little boy’s dogged determination had finally paid off.
Some days I wonder if I am as determined as my little lad was. When I think of the times that God has urged me to accomplish a task, I wonder about my tenacity. Do I stick to it? Do I see all my projects to fruition? Or do I give up in the face of criticism and fear of failure? Over the years I have learned a lot from my son, but this one memory remains etched in my soul.
When God puts something on my heart, like starting a ministry, or honing a skill, or helping a neighbor, or stepping out of my comfort zone or sending off a book proposal - do I give up citing that it is just too hard? Or do I listen to my Coach and draw strength and encouragement from Him? I know what the right answer should be, but do I do it? Time to take stock!