The temptation to just throw up your hands and quit, is common to everyone trying to do something.
Obstacles can either make or break a persons deliberation to “go the distance”.
When I was a teenager, in Northern Ireland, going to the equivalent of our high school, (Methodist College Belfast)… I joined the track and field team. Our training in everything from high jump, to javelin throwing, was easy for me. The hardest was the running… Now I could run! Endurance was the problem. Run a short distance… no problem. Run a mile or two… now that was another question. The first quarter mile was no problem, only I had not learned the idea of pacing myself. I was ‘all out’ in the first quarter mile. Then something happened. The lead I had developed, slowly began to diminish. Not because the other kids we faster, but because they knew something about ‘pacing’ themselves. Soon the rest of the ‘field’ caught up with me, and passed me. I was ‘winded’ and had to slow down more. I was in trouble. Well, I ended up walking or slow jogging the rest of the way… but I finished.
I remember what dad said so often, “Finish what you start.” This is so important in the work of the family of God.
There was a congregation in the South where I was minister for a short time. Next to their building was a foundation, with some plumbing sticking up. It was for a new auditorium. Problem… THEY HAD NOT FINISHED IT. They started, but something happened, and they quit and left the project just like that. Problem… it was on a main road in town, and everyone drove by and saw this embarrassment.
Nothing wrong with planning, having a big challenging vision… just FINISH IT. GO THE DISTANCE.
Some things to help along the way:
- Prayer: Have time to get before God and pour out your hearts. When you have the ‘foundation’ laid, get together ‘on the foundation’, and pour out your hearts to God and pray some more. Pray for help, vision, strength to finish the journey.
- Commitment: I’m sorry, but many times commitments are short lived. We are committed till we have a problem, or obstacle. When we back out of a commitment, it shows something is mission. Perhaps we have been short sighted. Perhaps the planning has been weak. But when you commit yourself… finish the job.
- Patience: This is invaluable. The ability to go through the tough times, the times when things don’t go as smoothly as you would like. The ability to wait, and have a half way decent attitude about it. Read James letter chapter one. Patience. Whatever it is, you commit yourself to, understand and try and see and plan for obstacles that are coming up. But there is no crystal ball, or magic to let you know all the bends and turns in the road… Do the best you can… and finish.
- Forgiveness: The ability to forgive is so important when it comes to this subject. We have been forgiven. There is no way we can afford to allow someone to drag us back into the past, and once again feel unforgiven. But we have to be able to forgive ourselves and others along the way as well.
In order to ‘go the distance’ and not walk out, not quit… takes a determination that is solidly founded in the belief that the journey you are on, is worth it… Carrying the ‘baggage’ of the past will only weigh you down.