In Others’ Word: Life Has Two Rules

2 Rules 3.2015 Can I be honest and I admit that I quit last week?

I sat on the floor in my bedroom, tears running down my face, and told my husband, “I can’t do this” — “this” basically being the list of “have tos” I was staring at. Yeah … not a shining moment in my life.

So I quit — for all of … oh, I don’t know, twenty minutes. And my husband, wise man that he is, let me quit. And then he reminded me that it’s not the first time I’ve felt like resigning from my responsibilities — and he refrained from saying it won’t be the last time. And he probably did a lot of praying while I was quitting.

I truly believe today’s quote about there being two life rules:

#1. Never quit.

#2. Always remember rule #1.

Just because I believe the quote doesn’t mean there aren’t times when life takes me by the scruff of my neck and shakes me up a bit … and I want to retreat to my corner. Quit. Not play — or do the work — anymore.

But what am I gonna do? Take a pass on the rest of my life? Get to heaven and tell God, “Oh, you know … it just got too hard and I, um, quit.”

Doesn’t God promise to be my strength and my refuge, a very present help in time of trouble? (Yes, yes, He does in Psalm 46:1.) If I quit, well, then I’m acting as if those promises don’t apply to me.

So I don’t quit not because I have a huge amount of confidence in me … I don’t quit because I have a huge God who is worth my confidence.

In Your Words: What do you think of the two life rules in today’s quote? Would you add another rule? Have you ever quit anything? When you want to quit — what keeps you going?

 

 

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16 Comments

  1. March 9, 2015, 5:41 am   /  Reply

    My friend Beth keeps me from quitting. When I am discouraged, she listens. When I am weak, she encourages me. When I quit life, she lets me – for a day – and then helps me to get back up again. I am a big believer in Walking-Talking therapy. <3

    • March 9, 2015, 8:39 am   /  Reply

      Funny thing, my friend Mary keeps me from quitting.And I heartily advocate that whole Walking-Talking therapy too! 🙂

  2. March 9, 2015, 7:27 am   /  Reply

    I found years back that being a teacher helped. No matter what happened before school, when I entered the classroom I needed to be calm, happy, and ready.
    Being a mom/grandma is even more so. No times out allowed and we have to do/be our best to help them have/do/be their best, and it works.

    • March 9, 2015, 8:40 am   /  Reply

      Distilling it down, Dee: Community makes a difference. Being needed makes a difference. Being a mentor makes a difference.

  3. March 9, 2015, 8:27 am   /  Reply

    This brought to mind a vignette from William Barrett’s novel, “The Left Hand of God”.

    The story is that of Jim Carmody, an American mercenary in post-WW2 China, who wants to escape the employment of a warlord, but finds that the vast size of China makes it an open-air prison, He can’t leave, because he could never get far, as an American in an Asian land.

    But then he has the opportunity to take the identity of a slain priest, and travel to the mission to which the priest was en route when he was killed.

    Carmody is successful in this, but finds that the trap is more profound…he now has to BE that priest, until he might be able to arrange for onward passage.

    And he’s furious with God, an argument that comes to a head on night , alone together in the sanctuary of the church.

    There’s a red candle burning on the tabernacle that holds the Host. Carmody realizes that he could shout blasphemies, mock the Living God, and do a thousand things in rebellion…

    …but the candle would yet burn.

    And its steady light breaks him to the yoke he has chosen, and that which God has chosen for him.

    • March 9, 2015, 8:42 am   /  Reply

      Andrew: I have come to love your “This reminds me of” stories. Truly.

  4. March 9, 2015, 10:38 am   /  Reply

    Love Andrew’s story! For some reason, quitting has never been an option for me. I don’t know if it’s being a first-born or what, but I never see the option of quitting. I am learning to say not a bit more so that I don’t get so overloaded. 🙂

    • March 9, 2015, 12:10 pm   /  Reply

      Pat: You hereby have a standing invitation to share a quote and write a blog post on not quitting. 🙂

      • March 9, 2015, 6:48 pm   /  Reply

        I’ll be glad to do a blog post, Beth. You do remember that I wrote for 32 years before I got a contract? 🙂 the blog post will have to be after May 1 when my 2nd book of 3 this year is due.
        And it was supposed to be I’ve learned to say no.

  5. March 9, 2015, 11:48 am   /  Reply

    Oh my, Beth! I’ve gone through the exact same thing lately. Somehow, if we just keep putting one foot in front of the other, we move on down the road … with God’s help. Maybe that’s why He allows us to feel overwhelmed sometimes. It’s then that we realize that we can’t do it without His strength. Blessings!

    • March 9, 2015, 12:10 pm   /  Reply

      Yes, Kathy … with God’s help. Always.

  6. March 9, 2015, 2:34 pm   /  Reply

    Beth, thank you for being real. Writing is fun when we want to … but when we have to, it can be stressful. I have loved all your books that I’ve read … keep up the good work!

  7. March 9, 2015, 6:09 pm   /  Reply

    Beth, what a precious and candid post. I don’t blame you for quitting in that moment – I’ve SO been there! And how sweet of your husband to let you quit 😉 What makes it so beautiful is knowing the rally is just around the corner, made so complete by God’s strength within you.

  8. March 9, 2015, 9:49 pm   /  Reply

    Beth, I agree on the no quitting part. However, I do believe there’s a difference in quitting and giving yourself the quiet time you need to get a fresh boost of energy for that to-do list. Yesterday, I had quite the pile of things to do. I got ninety percent of the things done and then had to stop because my body was exhausted. I didn’t quit. I just reached the end of what I could do in that moment. Sometimes when we reach the end of us, we rely on God’s strength to go farther. Other times, like yesterday for me, God allows us to have time to rest, to recharge ourselves for the next round.

    Sending you lots of hugs, my friend.

    Andrea

  9. March 12, 2015, 8:26 am   /  Reply

    I try not to brag, but I bet I’m better at quitting than you are. 🙂 I do it almost daily, however, I’m still writing. That’s a good thing, “write”? Thanks for being real so that I don’t feel alone when the waves of discouragement or distractions come.

    • March 13, 2015, 12:00 pm   /  Reply

      You can’t quit (not for real!) — I won’t let you! 🙂

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