Canon Stephen Bradberry shares his thoughts on how to find the strength to persevere in life

Halifax Minster
Halifax Minster

It’s not what others believe about you that matters – opinions can be changed – it’s what you believe about yourself. Jesus never begged anyone to believe in him. Integrity isn’t usually proven – it’s discerned. Sometimes it’s difficult to find your place in life.

Sparky didn’t have much going for him. In senior school he struggled with maths and English. He managed to get into a golf team then promptly lost the only important match of the season.

He was awkward socially and didn’t mix well. One thing, however, was important to Sparky and that was drawing. He was proud of his artwork even though nobody else appreciated it. He submitted cartoons to the editors of his senior school news magazine but they were rejected. Even so, he aspired to be an artist. After leaving school he sent samples of his work to the Walt Disney Studios but again he was rejected.

Sparky didn’t quit! He decided to write his autobiography in cartoons. The popularity of his cartoon strip eventually led to countless books and television shows.

Sparky, you see, was Charles Schulz, creator of the Peanuts comic strip, possibly the most famous cartoonist of all time. Like his main character, Charlie Brown, Schulz seemed unable to succeed at many things, but he made the most of his talent, refused to quit, and ended up being successful.

Often in life we struggle to make our way, we lose the will to succeed and we become content with second best. Yet, often we see that this is the norm even for those who have gone on to be successful. We need to persevere in life – to continue even in the face of opposition. This is difficult on our own and we need the power and strength of God along the way.

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