Do you ever feel like quitting?
There’s life in general, which I feel like quitting every day. Seriously, I have this awesome new bedroom and bathroom that feels like a spa and I can watch Netflix with the touch of a remote. Throw a fridge in the corner, and I would never emerge to real life again.
Then there’s the spiritual life. Can we just be real for a minute and say, its not always sunshine and roses? Its hard, and you have to think a lot, and its time consuming. Take away all the church and serving and working on my attitude, and there would be a lot more time for Netflix. Or the cottage. Or hanging out with friends. Or whatever it is that makes you want to quit real life. I think we could all agree on naps.
Sometimes I feel like quitting. Whether its difficult situations, or a time thing, or I’m angry at God about something, sometimes I lose my focus. So how do we keep from quitting during these times?
In John 6, Jesus delivers what His followers call, “hard sayings”. There’s certainly hard sayings in the Christian life, aren’t there? Love, grace, forgiveness, these are all awesome when they’re directed toward us, but when we have to start extending those to everyone else, things get a little harder.
After Jesus teaches these hard sayings, many followers leave. They quit. This Christianity thing was too hard for them. Too many demands, not enough miracles.
Jesus then turns to His 12 disciples and asks if they will leave too. Peter responds with an answer that has stuck with me for a while now.
Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
We can quit, but then what? Where else is better? Who is better?
And most importantly, who else offers eternal life?
I’ve found that when I most feel like quitting, its because my focus has gotten off the eternal and onto the temporal. It has gotten off eternal life and onto the comforts of this life. Off of the glorious and onto the mundane.
Off of God and onto myself.
I have to preach these things to myself because some days, like today, I feel overwhelmed and tired and like I would just like to nap forever. But this hard, time-consuming life is worth it. And the only way to remember that is to keep my focus on the eternal. As in, it doesn’t really matter if the kids bedrooms are painted and the yard is cleaned up. But trying to speak truth to K-6th grade kids does matter in the end. Even if it was entitled, why its awesome to be weird.
So keep on serving and loving and working in whatever way God has called you to. But keep your focus where it needs to be, or you will want to quit.
But I think short naps are important too.