Hey You! Don’t Give Up

So this week I kind of got a kick in the pants.

I’ve felt a little, well, lacking.  My steam is running low and my energy is on reserves.  At times I can get a little aimless in life.

I don’t make good choices when I get this way.

I dont’ think good thoughts when I get this way.

I was in trouble!

On top of this, I was asked to share a few encouraging words to a group of volunteers.  I had known about it for some time and when asked I was happy to oblige.  Little did I know I would be in a slump when the time came!

So I began shooting numerous pleas with God to help me share something meaningful because I had nothing!  

Then for some reason I began to think about my brothers.  When I’m with them I feel as if no time has passed and we are the same goofy kids laughing, teasing, tormenting, having heart to heart talks and doing a few stupid things…just because we can.

I remembered a powerful story in the the life of one of my brothers.  Both of them have a crazy love for football.  They each played it as long as they could.  For one of them it went into a career.  He was playing on a team that was really having a hard season…..really hard season!  The fans, coaches, press were brutal on this group of guys.    Teammates began giving up on their season, themselves and each other.

Then, my brother did something that made him stand out above the rest.

The Brothers

A reporter recorded this event so I will quote him. Somehow I still had the article. Go figure, eh?

This may seem an odd day to scribble a tale about guys who don’t quit but, somehow, I can’t help myself….Now there’s been a lot of blunt talk about Bombers who simply give up.  But this is an acknowledgement of a few who will not….Here’s the scene…(the quarterback) has thrown another interception.  But the image imprinted in my mind’s eye is of (the centre) and tackle Christopher Perez, who each tip the scales at about 280 pounds, lumbering after (the defender who intercepted) down the sidelines…Remember the game is over.  It’s done.  It stinks…besides …it’s a physical impossibility.  But from about five yards away, the Bombers centre left his feet and grasped at the air in the ultimate effort of futility. (Then) Perez made the tackle and I shook my head…. Perez was asked about the interception,…’We make a commitment to play 60 minutes no matter what…no matter whether we are up 100 points or down 100 points. So, yea, if we throw an interception late in the game, I’m going to try to run him down.  That’s just the way offensive linemen are wired.’

~Randy Turner

There was my kick in the pants!

God’s voice was almost audible, “Hey you, don’t give up!”  Ironically, I had been looking closely at a verse in Psalms that came alive to me right then.  “Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.”  (Psalm 126:5)  Sometimes we have to keep on with tear stained cheeks and worn out hands.  To continue to act in faith, trusting, believing, pursing and obeying (yea I’ll even say the dreaded “O” word)  God because we made a commitment to know Him, serve Him and love Him. Because that is the way a follower of Jesus is wired.

But, and this is a big but to me,  the promise of joy comes from God. We don’t get to dictate how, when or where the joy comes but God promises it will. That was my motivation to keep going.  The hard work, the efforts made, the discipline of trust…it’s all worth it. It matters and it leads to something better.

It’s the place where physical impossibilities are crushed by the tackle of fervent faith.

That the promise of God will turn diligence in doing what is right into something good for me.  I can’t think of anything better.  God’s track record of keeping promises is 100%.  Impressive!

Suddenly, my tank was filled, my energy resumed….and I had my encouraging word for the volunteers. Go figure, eh?  

“Let us not become weary in doing good,

for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  Galatians 6:9

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