(This is a repost of an a popular article which I loved writing. Hope it inspires you.)
The hardest day to make a change in life is the first day. You have to believe it’s possible.
The dream, the idea, the goal you set. The only way to begin a long hike is to start walking. But most people don’t even get to the beginning of the trail. They sit and dream of hiking, and yet never even step outside.
Have I mentioned I came from a motivational family? My mom had inspirational recordings playing all the time. We had posters and plaques around our house with tons of motivational ideas, some biblical, some just simple encouragement. Maybe they subliminally seeped into my head, but when I get frustrated with life, those images and verses return to me.
Yesterday, I found myself dwelling on one line from a poem I regularly read on my wall as a child (it’s in bold below). As a teen, I purchased a small card with the poem, and tucked it into my wallet so I could read it at school. Believe me, quitting was a constant thought for this girl.
It seemed like every time I tried to go beyond my normal boundaries, I felt a push back which frustrated me beyond belief. But I’d read the poem, and decide to believe a favorite Bible verse I grouped with it.
I know it’s a new year, but it doesn’t mean the old troubles left.
They stare at us daring us to trip and fall or never even try. Those old troubles have glared at us for a while, they know our weaknesses. When we want to exercise to have the energy to help our family grow stronger, the troubled thoughts from our past lure us to the T.V. or refrigerator or they pop the idea into our heads, “we can do it later.”
We quit trying to fight the trouble. We buy into that famous Star Trek line, “resistance is futile.”
But the truth of life and Star Trek comes in the realization that resistance is essential.
Don’t get me wrong, if I were writing about how to get a good job, I’d tell you there are times to quit. If I were writing about smoking or drugs or alcohol, I’d shout the value of quitting.
But in living life, in our marriages, in parenting I believe the poem and the verse grab hands and hold us up because these are the places where we must not quit. As we find encouragement, we will develop a type of faithfulness within our relationships.
Here’s the poem:
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow–
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out–
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit–
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.
- author anonymous
And here’s the Bible verse:
“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
To be honest, the Bible verse is a whole lot easier to memorize, but we had the poem on the wall, and I read it from my wallet on occasion. Over time, I memorized parts of it on accident. So, can you.
Have you ever been tempted to quit? How have you been able to remain faithful?