Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Be a quitter!

Jesus talked about a man who wanted to build a tower. He would, Jesus said, carefully plan to see if he could afford to finish the tower, because if he ran out of money half-way through, he would be ridiculed (Luke 13:25-30).

But what would you say if part way through the project something changed and he no longer had the money to finish the project. Which would be worse – to be ridiculed for not finishing or to kill yourself on an impossible task?

Of course we don’t want to quit, but sometimes it would be far worse to continue.

This was the case for me. Though not a pastor, I wanted to learn more – lots more – about the Faith, so I embarked on a graduate program, though a somewhat less rigorous one. It probably wasn’t the best idea when I started – time was short, and my daughter was small. As she got bigger, she made it clear that she wanted more of my time. Then my second daughter was born, and she, her sister, and her mother required still more of my time. Then I realized that what I was giving was still not enough. Things had changed to the point that the graduate program that would have been difficult to complete in a reasonable amount of time was now going to be impossible. So should I continue to pour time and money into it or accept that it was no longer viable?

If I was going to be a fool, I was going to be a fool with an intact family and daughters who knew their father.

No one wants to be a quitter, but sometimes needs or priorities change. Sometimes you just realize you were wrong. We’re all human, and we’re going to make mistakes. But, as the saying goes, when you realize you’re in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.

Just some food for thought: Don’t be the person who never finishes anything. Also, don’t be the person who refuses to accept that success is not possible. Sometimes you really do need to just quit.


Danny Wright said...

I have a haunting memory. My then 2 year old son (he's four now) was sitting in his sand box looking up at me asking "will you play with me?". I didn't have the time then but given a couple of different earlier decisions I would have. Those decisions were made without thought of my children. At the time of those decisions it seemed there would always be tomorrow. That particular opportunity to play with my son is gone now.

This memory I believe is a gift from God, for although it's sad, it drives a stake deep into my heart concerning the vapor that is life, and even more how incredibly fleeting is this time of me as Daddy to my little girl and boy. I am so grateful that God gave this to me while they are still young. Brother, you made the right choice, and I'm sure time will bear that out.

ChrisB said...

My oldest is almost four, and those four years have gone by so fast. When we wasn't quite two she reached a point when she would do things that she knew would get her in trouble just to get me upstairs. That's when I first started trying to adjust my schedule. It took me a while to realize that, at this point, no amount of "adjustment" was going to do.

Thanks for the encouragement. It was hard to quit, but it would be harder to look back and wonder if I could have had a better relationship with my girls.