May, as I look back over the past month, which feels like it was just a week, I notice a common theme. Perseverance.
The past two months or so we have been working on sealing one part of our biogas tank. Really in the time I’ve been back since February, we have been working through ideas to get good reliable seals. There has been a lot of trial and error, a lot, with that though plenty of learning the “why” of things. Some of you may know that I went to university and studied engineering. Over the course of my time there I spent many hours in my books, so many nights staying up until three in the morning finishing homework that needed to be handed over in a few hours time. Through all my time in Uni I learned many things: formulas, rules, constants, terms, ect… Of all the things, though, I don’t remember the reason why I was learning all this.
Now I find my self in an R&D situation, just not the type I ever expected for myself. I’m learning, understanding why things work or don’t work through personal experience and thinking of ways to improve and get the intended result. Sometimes I wish I didn’t learn this way. I’ve learned a lot of lessons by trying different things. They can be hard lessons, though, when you are working with relationships and not numbers on a sheet of paper.
I’m pretty stubborn, so I keep pressing forward until I feel that every option has been tried. I believe God has been showing me new things, though it’s not always stubbornness. He has been showing me the character attribute of perseverance. I think I must have built and rebuilt this one particular seal over 50 different times and each time I check to see if it holds back liquid. If I could get it to there then it was time to see if it could hold a little air pressure. There were multiple times where I would try something only to have it not work, adjust it a little and it would work but then leak in another spot. I wanted to melt the thing, make it one big goopy pile of blue smoldering plastic but I kept at it. Finally after a few months of trying things and searching ideas on the Internet I feel like we have found a way.
So far the idea has held up really well. We have been pushing and pulling on it pretty hard while filling the tank. Turns out that I had cut the inlet pipe wrong and that created some feeding troubles. This meant that I had to pull it all apart and fix it again and seal it again. Even with this though I was able to improve the seal.
What causes people to persevere, to stay dedicated, to remain? I think from the simplest things like a biogas tank seal, to relationships, or that breakthrough in ministry or our personal life, it comes down to hope and faith. Faith that there is a solution, faith that God is, and He personally sees, that He is a good God that doesn’t laugh or get pleasure when we are finding things hard. That we can go to Him and he cares.