Why is it that we give up on our goals? Why is it that we divert from our dreams? Why do we give in to the pressure to quit instead of persevering to keep going on?
In 2 Kings 13, the king of Israel went to the prophet Elisha to seek counsel before the prophet died. Elisha told the king to take his bow and arrows and strike the ground. The king only struck the ground three times and stopped. Now the prophet got angry with the king because he had stopped willingly and without being told to.
Just like in the story in 2 Kings, we shouldn’t stop before completing our goals but unfortunately sometimes we come up short. Why is this? Why do we stop? I believe there are three factors that contribute to us giving up.
1) Too Painful
When the pain of continuing on becomes greater than the shame of giving up that is when we end up throwing in the towel. If we could look past the pain and see the purpose behind it, instead of it pushing us away from our destiny, it will propel us toward it. Pain has a purpose and if we can just push through it, we will make it to the other side.
2) Too Difficult
Anything that’s worth anything is worth fighting for. Don’t quit because the road is hard. Good things come from hard work. The harder the task, the greater the reward. What’s that saying? When the going gets tough, the tough get going. How many things in life would never have been discovered, invented, or accomplished if people had just quit once the journey started to become hard? The greatest opposition always comes before the biggest breakthrough. When things get hard it’s not time to stop, it’s time to push harder.
3) Too Much
Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest basketball player to have ever played the game, said “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” Just because it seems like it might be too much to handle, doesn’t mean that it has to handle you. The number one reason why people give up so fast is that they tend to focus on how much further they still have to go instead of looking back on how far they have come. Instead of focusing on what’s left to be done, reflect back on how much you have already accomplished. Then what you have left to do won’t seem to be that much at all.
There is a scene from one of the Rocky movies, Rocky V, where Rocky gets into a street fight with his young prodigy, Tommy Gun, that he had been training. Tommy knocks Rocky down to the ground and begins to walk away assuming the fight is over. But while starting to get back up, Rocky says this famous quote “I didn’t hear no bell!”
Don’t give up on yourself cause God has never given up on you. When life has knocked you down and you don’t have the strength to get back up, don’t throw in the towel cause God isn’t done with you yet.
Why did you stop? Cause I didn’t hear no bell.