Continue steadfastly—when we come to God in prayer, we must persevere regardless of the difficulties, discouragement, and trials we face.
When I was thirteen years old, I was a pretty good athlete. I had made the high school varsity basketball team in the eighth grade. There was only one problem, my shoes. My family did not have much money, so my mother had become an expert at stretching a dollar.
I had a perfectly fitted pair of tennis shoes, but they were not for basketball. I begged my mother to buy me some Nike basketball shoes. Her canned response was that my shoes were just fine. I tried to explain again that I needed shoes for basketball. Finally, after all my badgering, she blurted out to me, “If you want some Nike basketball shoes, you need to have some Nike basketball shoe money!”
I did not run off to my room crying. I simply wondered, That’s it? I just need to find the money? That afternoon, I walked a few blocks to the pharmacy. I asked the owner if there was anything I could do for work. He said he could use a stock boy and asked when I could start. I happily accepted the job, and I started working right away. I swept the storeroom the best I could, and then the owner had me stock the shelves. By the end of the week, I got to use the pricing gun!
I was so excited. I was getting paid to do chores that were similar to those my mom had me do around the house. This was nirvana! After school and sports practice, I was exhausted. However, I would still manage to finish my homework for school, study for my hardship driver’s license, and practice my piano lessons for church Bible study and performance recitals. Then I’d walk to the drugstore and work for a few hours. It was a growing experience as I learned to follow instructions, be accountable, and the value of earning something through hard work. I was persevering to get those shoes. I would not be denied.
After I earned enough money, I couldn’t wait to share my news. I waved the cash in my hand and excitedly showed it to my mother. I was so proud, but she was stunned. She confirmed with the pharmacy owner that I had earned the money, and then we were off to the store to get my Nike shoes. Two years later, I became an all-star point guard for my high school basketball team.
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