I usually say that I am tenacious. I will stick to a goal and make sure that I can be there all the way to the end. I use my first summer of college as an example, I didn’t get what I wanted, but then I stuck through and finally a position was created so that I could get experience. I stay through tough times, I persistently fight to get to be where I feel God is leading me.
The problem with being tenacious is that I can get stuck on the goal, I can get stuck on being stuck somewhere, I can get stuck. There is no virtue in staying somewhere for the sake of staying. If I always use the narrative of being tenacious, then I could get stuck in some very dangerous and harmful places.
I wonder how my perspective would change if I started to think of myself as steadfast. Some things would have to change. Instead of aiming for a goal, I would maintain and stay through to the end. Tenacity seems to always be searching for a way to find the means to the end. Steadfastness knows the goal and knows the path, and is committed to seeing it through. I could be persistent, but then also be committed and unwavering and dedicated to this purpose.
Ah. There is the difference. Tenacity has a goal. Steadfastness has a purpose.
They seem like the same thing, they very well could be the same thing, but steadfastness has a deeper connection to a sustaining power through the journey.
In any storm that I am in, instead of tenaciously deciding that I will stick it through, I wonder how my outlook would change if I determined that I would be steadfast to the purpose. It means that I would have to be open to the leading of God, open to redirection, open to seeing when the purpose has been completed.
As I seek for purpose through the storms, I can be dedicated to the place where I am, rather than tenaciously sticking to somewhere. As I go forward in my purpose, I commit to leading and living the life that has been granted to me. As I loyally complete my purpose in a certain season, I draw from the wisdom of the one in whom I trust. I hope to know when a season has ended, so that I know when to move forward.
I will still be tenacious, I will still find persistence to seek a goal. I will also seek the places where I will be steadfast and dedicated through all that rushes around me as I am loyal to my purpose.