Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.-Harriet Beecher Stowe
I have a hard time with this quote because I’m not at all good at deciding what to hold on to and what to let go of? Do you feel that way too?
At times, I have held tightly to the railing of a” sinking vessel” while watching those around me jump ship. I’ve stood there while it all went down, myself included. I was once part of a ministry that I just couldn’t let go of. It was needed. It was helpful. It wasn’t working, and I kept trying to keep it afloat.
Then I’ve been guilty of the opposite problem. I’ve given up way too early on legitimate dreams. Writing dreams, blogging dreams. I’ve started multiple blogs, only to shut them down and lose any followers, and traction I had.
I’ve given up opportunities to write, to speak, to be a part of events of great importance. Why? Because of the fear of failure. The fear of being known. The fear of making mistakes in front of others. The fear of success.
Once, my alma mater asked me to speak at the retirement ceremony of a beloved English professor, my most admired professor. I never responded because I was to attend a training seminar for a ministry, the one that died a slow painful death mentioned above. I held on to one thing at the expense of another. Have you ever given up something that was precious for what you thought you “should do?”
So how do we decide what we should give up on and when we should perservere?
I wish I had a 5 point list to help us with these decisions. I wish there was some simple formula. But there isn’t. The only thing I can say is….
I knew in my gut what I should do. I just didn’t do it.
- I knew I should have quit leading the ministry that was dying, but I held on because it was good.
- I knew my first blog excited my passion for writing, but I listened to others and changed my focus.
- I knew I should speak of my gratitude for a wonderful women instead of attending the seminar, but I followed my responsibilities.
I think if we take the time to listen to our gut, we know.
So when we are unsure of the decision staring us down, it’s time to slow down, to process, to pray, to listen and to bravely follow our guts.