– Today’s blog is from the book Pause: The Secret to a Better Life, One Word at a Time. Pick up your copy on Amazon or HERE
Glance back at the words we’ve considered in the last few chapters: believing, celebrating, dancing, dreaming. It would be nice if we could live with those experiences continuing. Ending in “ing” indicates an ongoing reality of their existence.
Students and teachers finish a year of classes. Athletes complete their seasons. Writers type final words, speakers declare conclusions, and businesses close deals. Individuals eat their last meals of the day, or spend their last money by paying a bill, or drive the last miles to arrive home.
Sometimes we feel like quitting. Sometimes we think of other options. Sometimes our tendencies lure us in other directions. Desires for immediate pleasure cause us to fail. Rather than staying on course until our arrivals, we stray, we stop, we quit, we move on to other things.
By quitting too soon, we’ll never know what’s on the other side.
By finishing, we’ll know the joy of completion.
These words ring especially true as I reach the end of college here at Emmanuel. How easy it would be to just skate by. How easy it would be to stop attending classes (Im sure my grades wouldn’t suffer too horribly). But excellence is what I am called to by Christ. How else can I bring glory to his name. Laziness is not something that should be associated with a child of God. The acts of the child reflect the acts of his father. God is not lazy, so if I choose to be lazy, I am choosing to be the child of someone else.
Quitting. Giving up. Stopping. All these words have been illuminated in my life this semester. They have swirled around in my head, coming to mind at the worst possible times. There have been times of planning my escape. There have been moments of “I can’t go on.” But I am reminded of the one who has endured the most and did not give up: Jesus. When I feel like giving up, I direct my thoughts back to Him. I know that what I am facing now could never come close to the hardship He faced. “Giving up is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”
In situations like that, I like to remind myself of what John C. maxwell says: life with God is not a microwave oven- It is a crockpot. Just like Moses had to wander in the wilderness and Abraham and Sara had to wait on their promise of a child, I must continue waiting and pursuing during the wait without being tempted to quit.
I have had so many moments this semester where “quitting” seemed like the easiest solution. In those moments I felt defeated and that not caring would be more beneficial than caring. God has reminded me in more ways than one that quitting is not the option and not caring is not an option. His ways are higher than mine and His plans are the right kind. I have learned that I have to hang on to His promises instead of letting things that have happened feel as if I’ve been defeated. I will press on even in times of hardship knowing that HE holds the world in HIS hands.
These words are what I need to keep applying to my life. It’s not the fact that I want to quit it’s just that I have lost focus of the goal. There have been times when I have settled for a temporary desire and therefore it caused me to lose focus of the big picture. I need to keep celebrating, believing and dreaming because without continually doing these things then I will lose focus of the purpose and not complete what is in front of me. I desire to complete the task but often times I have just lost focus. I will no longer lose focus but strive for continually believing and dreaming so that I may fulfill the goal that is in front of me.
Throughout this entire semester the word quit and the phrase it can wait until later have became so much in my life and now that the semester comes to an end I realize that the word and phrase have push me to the edge where I am trying to get the important things done much faster than it should have gotten done. I see now that I need to cut them out of my life and focus on getting things done and not waste time and push through the things that make me want to quit and ask God for his help to get me through those things and help me cut the word and phrase out of my life for good.
Endurance is the key to faith. If i can prove that I am something (again and again), and can endure to the very end, its a direct testament to my faith. No matter what it is. It could be in my walk with Christ or when i play basketball, or better yet it can be both! If i endure in my relationship with Jesus Christ, and prove that i can endure through temptation and sin, then the same characteristics will flow over into my everyday life!
I’ve often thought of just giving up and not caring throughout this semester. Once I start to think that, The Lord reminds me that I can’t quit. He reminds me that I can do anything that I’ve set my mind to and what He’s called me to do.
It came to a point this season where I wanted to quit volleyball. It just wasn’t fun anymore and I didn’t enjoy it. But taking a step back realizing that God gave me this amazing opportunity to play volleyball in college made endure the rest of the season. No matter the opponent, game situation, or the guys i played with, i made sure i was the encouraging factor and fought through the task. If i had given up on the season i probably would not come back to Emmanuel next year and that would be terrible for me. Emmanuel is where I am growing and this is where I want to endure the tasks that God has in store for me.
I feel like I’m seeking endurance more than ever right now. Endurance for school and physical things, but also spiritual endurance. I am a go, go, go kind of person, always seeking the next thing, but I know God has had me waiting. It’s crazy to think you need endurance for the waiting. Yes, it is a time of recharge, but my heart wants to know what’s is next. But for now, I will trust and endure, and then trust and endure a little longer.
Quitting always seems to be an option, but it is rarely the right option. In the midst of taking difficult classes, I consider quitting, even though I know I should endure. Sometimes I give up for a little while, but it only makes it worse when I come back to it. I would love to persevere, but it is always hard. The strength needed to continue to endure is found in God alone.
Finishing the race of college is my current endurance issue. This semester has been full of ups and downs and a lot of plateaus. It’s been hard a times to not throw in the towel just to be done with all of the stress. The “stress” of my earlier years has no comparison to the final days of a biology major. It’s a lot. However, I know that my whole future and the plans God has for me couldn’t be completed the way they should if I don’t finish. If I dont endure the final stretch of the race. I’m trying and moving ahead.
I believe the more we endure with God, the more He trusts us. God throws things at us and expects us to trust in Him, which in return gives Him trust in us. Our relationship with God is so unique because He always trusts those who trust Him.
Running has taught me how to endure. Running makes you take pain yet still keep go”ing”. It’s the ultimate teaching device for learning how to endure in life. The pain is always temporary and can be tolerated just like life. And if you take the pain long enough the reward is worth it. Just how from suffering can lead to building of faith. Anything worth something must have a price, the outcome is worth it. We must go through this process to be closer to Him which is our whole purpose in life.
“Endurance” seemed like a spit in the face the majority of this semester. A maniacal laugh. A punch below the belt. Like when someone told me not to give up despite the four trips to the ER, the two weeks in bed, two surgeries in one month, head trauma, and unending heartbreak they were ignorant of the pain. I wanted to give up more than anything,, literally the only thing that gets me out of the bed in the morning and out my door is the hope of something more than just the here and now. The eternal promise of the Savior for a life more abundant and the promise that I’m engraved on the palm of his hand. Therefore He is incapable of getting rid of me.
I feel that this semester I’ve had to endure a lot. When you finish the race and see the rewards from your hard work, it made the endurance worth it all.