The Importance of Sheer Doggedness by Bro Duncan PBGV

Just occasionally I have to remind Them of the importance of sheer doggedness. They tend to call it ‘perseverance’, but whatever. It’s the same idea, stolen from us dogs, of course, only we do it better. Sticking at something and not giving up is sometimes hard for humans. They want to find reasons for doing things (which usually means reasons for not doing things) and sometimes there aren’t any. The world is like that, I tell Them. We get up, we eat, we sleep, we praise God; and life goes on. The important thing is that we try. We often think we fail when in fact we don’t. That comes of our having our eyes on ourselves all the time, as though we were engaged in taking a perpetual selfie. Or because we have become impossibly perfectionist. I always say, if a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing badly — if that’s the best we can manage.

I’ll let you into a little secret. They are not really singers, but They plug away at the Divine Office day after day, singing the praises of God to the best of Their ability which, to be frank, isn’t great. I snooze along beside Them, so together we give glory to God. We don’t do anything exceptional, any of us, — we’re too ordinary for that — but we go on . . . relentlessly. I’m rather hoping we’ll all sneak into heaven that way.


11 thoughts on “The Importance of Sheer Doggedness by Bro Duncan PBGV”

  1. Thank you Brother Duncan for your words of encouragement. As you say, I think we all try to do our best most of the time – just putting one foot in front of the other! Your doggedness is quite inspiring!
    Ps Would you mind telling me what PBGV stands for. Thank you!

  2. A friend of mine coaches a track and field team for high school students. He always tells the athletes to suit up every day, tie up the shoe laces and run, –no matter what.
    Some days will be terrible. Some days will be wonderful. The key, he says, it to suit up and do your best every day. The discipline and the commitment will yield large dividends in the end.

    Many a student has thanked him and remembered that advice as they moved on in life.
    Great advice for sports and for life.
    Great to hear this confirmed by Brother Duncan,

    • “Suit up, tie the shoe laces and run” – words I need to hear today! Been out of work for years and no matter how many job applications I send out, I get just as many refusals back. I don’t know how to find the strength anymore, I can’t see any future ahead of me and there is no money to pay the bills.
      Again today I found refusals in my inbox for the 5 applications I sent out 10 days ago. How and where do I find the strength to go on when all doors and windows remain sealed?

      I must suit up a bit tighter, tie the shoe laces even harder and run as if my life depended on the speed. But please dear God – I need your help.

  3. Thanks Bro Duncan …. so true1 I have fond memories of you snoozing in the oratory in Hendred one ‘Quiet Day’ clearly helping us just ‘be’ with Our Lord!

  4. If I hold onto your tail may I sneak into heaven with you, Bro Duncan? 😉 I cherish the memory of you sidling into the chapel with me when I had the pleasure of being there recently – your delightful doggedness was an inspiration! Isn’t is wonderful that ‘the best we can do’ is fine with Him Upstairs? I bet heaven has bonios on tap……….

    Thank you for yet another post that cheers and brings a smile x

  5. Thanks for your thoughts once more Bro Duncan. I am quite good at doing things badly, especially the singing bit which I often do out of tune and very quietly (so that I don’t put the rest of the choir off )- but I do enjoy it!! Love to Them and to yourself, Off to read Romans 12 now Prayers and hugs all round.

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