“Never Quit. “Don’t ever, ever quit. Recognize that stopping now, regrouping to try a new approach isn’t quitting. If you quit you’ll regret it forever.”
Ahh… the spring is finally here. Baseball season, cut grass, the smell of pollen in the air. Life is new. The world is coming back awake. The dull, dreary cold of winter is wisping away…the school year is waning. With all that is good that is coming…it is much easier to breathe deeply as the hope of spring comes and wakes us up.
But…can I get personal today?
This past few weeks have been tough for our family. A couple of weeks ago my wife had to have a cast put on her foot due to a hairline fracture on her right foot and severe tendinitis around her ankle and calf. Then, this past weekend, three of my children had the “flu” and were out cold for three days straight. On top of that, we’ve had the added strain of trying to figure out how to live off of one income for about 8 weeks while she heals.
This winter we’ve experienced a lot of loss too. A family member, a business client, and a personal friend all lost their lives this past winter to cancer. We’ve seen friends struggle through the loss of a baby through miscarriage, friends waiting to find out if a loved one had cancer, friends find out they had cancer and begin doing treatments. We’ve seen tragedy this winter at local high schools and on a national level in terrorist attacks and the like. Life has been difficult. Sometimes all you want to do is give up.
With all the hope of spring…life can still seem pretty daunting at times. Like standing on home plate with a full count and the pitcher throws you a curve…what do you do?
Keep your eye on the ball…and…keep swinging.
Today I want to offer you four reasons to keep swinging.
- This is only a season. Seasons come and go. There are seasons of difficulty and pain, suffering and sorrow, and seasons of intense joy, overabundance, happiness, and restful relaxation. Take a deep breath and plow through. The hard work of tilling up the ground, furrowing the rows, and sowing the seed has to be done before you’re going to experience the joy of the harvest. Pay the price now, and you’ll get to play later.
- People are counting on you. Your ability to be inventive, creative, innovative, and optimistic will do a couple of things for you. 1/ It will not allow you to get discouraged, even when the going gets tough. 2/ It will draw people to you. You will attract people who want to either help or find strength from you during your difficult time. Ultimately, you will discover some new things about yourself that you never thought were possible. People are counting on you. Don’t let them down.
- You’ll find out what you’re made of. I can tell you from personal experience that the most challenging times I have ever been through have also been the most revealing times for me. I have discovered the cracks in my character as well as the internal strength that I never knew existed. There is a strength that you have to offer that you haven’t yet been challenged enough to push through and find. This struggle may just be that moment. Don’t let it pass you by.
- There’s a light at the end of this tunnel. Nothing is hopeless. No person is a hopeless cause. No problem is so daunting that there isn’t some glint of hope on the other side. When faced with the overwhelming obstacle of death…Jesus said, ““I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” Jesus offers resurrection from personal sin, parenting failure, leadership weakness, financial mistakes, and even the death of our bodies. He is the light at the end of our tunnel, make no mistake about it. There’s a light at the end of this tunnel, and it all begins and ends with Jesus.
Back to home base. You’re standing there, bat in hand, full count. One more swing could mean the difference between losing the game by striking out, or hitting that sweet spot and running home. Keep swinging. Whether it be a financial stress or failure, a personal disruption of comfort, or even death staring you in the face…keep swinging.
There is always hope on the other side of the struggle.
You just need to know where to look for it.