Dolly Parton is the fourth of 12 children and grew up in an extremely poor home. She married Dean, who is now retired from running an asphalt road-paving business. Dolly suffered from endometriosis, a condition which eventually required her to undergo a hysterectomy. So they don’t have children of their own.
In interviews and in her music, she has looked back on her destitute upbringing, concluding that, while she values the lessons it taught her, she would not want to go back.
She wrote a song titled, “When life is good again”:
“When life is good again
I’ll be a better friend,
A bigger person when,
Life is good again,
More thoughtful than I’ve been,
I’ll be so different then,
More in the moment…
I’ll open up my heart,
And let the whole world in,
I’ll try to make amends…”
Parton sings that she will prioritize her personal relationships and share her appreciation for life when life is good again.
Whether things are going right or wrong in our lives, we must persevere – with persistent effort despite opposition – in our relationships. Work to improve relationships with others. Continue to talk and listen to God.
“Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet.” Ephesians 6:13-15
Because God’s gift of salvation is an eternal gift, believers should persevere in the Christian life, whatever the circumstances.
To persevere when things go right, we need to keep God first!
“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”
When things go right, you are most vulnerable.
On November 30, 2013, Alabama and Auburn were playing in a college football game. With the score 28 to 28, there was one second left in the game. Alabama attempted to win the game with a 43-yard field goal attempt. What happened next was unforgettable for anybody who watched it, including me (see video below).
When things go well, you cannot relax! Be prepared for trials.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Dolly Parton’s attitude of perseverance is admirable. Take time today to patiently listen to God and develop an attitude of perseverance, regardless of your circumstances.