Some time back in a small group, a woman asked another who was in her eighth month of pregnancy, how she was doing. “I’m done. I just want this over. I don’t want to be pregnant anymore.”
Some qualifications. I have no idea if all or most or some or maybe only this pregnant woman feel this way. I’m a guy. Never been pregnant. But I get the concept of being done. Just last week, I got to the 44th of 50 chapters on my upcoming book with Harvest House—The Open Road, A Motorcycle, and God, on biker devotions. I love writing, I love bikes, I love traveling, I love God, and I particularly love weaving all of them together.
But I got stuck. Fresh ideas couldn’t be blasted out of my mind with dynamite. Stale ideas weren’t much easier. I took hours to write a paragraph—a pathetic one. My books typically run about 40,000 words, this just exceeded 44,000 with 6,000 words to go. I felt tapped out, and if my editor had emailed to say, send the advance back and we’ll cancel it all, the temptation might have overwhelmed me. I kept struggling, got that chapter completed. And was drained.
So I took a day off to get physical. Weeding, taking out some dead branches. Washing the cars. Pruning the roses and some fruit trees.
We all hit the wall sometimes. We’re done. Tired. Exhausted. No desire to continue. Perhaps our marriage, our job, a frustrating situation. And many times quitting is the best option. But I suggest, we only quit if we’ve done all we can to make it work. And sometimes, when what tires us is good, then we continue on, according to the apostle Paul, “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).
Finishing the book qualifies as good. Making a marriage work does too. A lot does. And good depends on God’s perspective on it.
But when we keep on keeping on, we gain the benefits we’d lose by stopping. For me, the joy of getting a book in print, but more so, impacting people spiritually. And always, we get the self-satisfaction of finishing. Of not being a quitter. Ironically, after the day off, the next chapter almost wrote itself, like taking dictation. Just under three hours, when most take over a day. Go figure, but a nice reward.
Kick Starting the Application
Do you face temptations to quit some good things too soon? What causes that? What have you found best helps you continue? What role does prayer play in that? Think of a time when you continued when you wanted to quit. What was the result?