While clearly everybody entered The Challenge intending to see the project through to the end, sometimes events conspire together to cause us to lose ground, fall behind, and perhaps consider dropping out altogether. That’s when our blogger buddies need to step alongside us with a few well-placed “comments” of encouragement and support.
With an alphabetized schedule such as we have, it’s easy to note when somebody is struggling to keep up. There’s simply a letter or two missing or a day’s publication with more than one post. I’ve especially enjoyed the several I’ve seen where the writer has linked several letters together into one catch-up combination. What excites me about those entries especially is not just the creativity involved but the stubbornness of the spirit behind them, a determination to keep on keeping on.
Life can be a challenge as well, and surely all of us go through periods in which we just can’t seem to cope or keep up. It’s when we are tempted to give up that alarms should sound in the spiritual realm, summoning those who are able to offer the help we need. It’s important then that we keep alert for signs of struggle in those around us. A break in regular routines or sudden silence from those who used to converse with us regularly are key indicators that something is not as it should be. Taking the initiative at that point to step in alongside someone who’s weary with support and encouragement may very well have life and death consequences.
Terminating a commitment to an activity of one type or another is not always a bad thing. Sometimes we simply get in over our heads or find ourselves in a spot that we have no business being in. A teenager I work with recently found himself in a similar situation. For days he talked about quitting his job in favor of another option that appealed to him more. Finally came the night when the moment seemed right, but I was intrigued by the fact that he made a phone call to his dad first, to ask his permission. When that was subsequently given, he went to the manager and submitted his resignation.
I’ve done the same. When I once found myself heading a ministry that I had no business being in charge of, given my set of abilities and talents, I eventually went to my Father and asked if I could quit. When He released me from that obligation, not only did the group thrive under the new leadership that took over, but I did, as well, in the other opportunities that were more in line with my giftings I now had the chance to pursue.
More often our struggles are momentary in nature, and our spirits can be quickly rejuvenated by the actions of those who are looking for signs of struggle with a willingness to help. As we head towards the finish line, in both the Challenge and in life, let’s travel with our eyes and hearts open, and our arms ready to reach for a fellow traveler who may simply need a helping hand over a rough spot in the road to victory.
“And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap if we don’t loosen and relax our courage and faint.”
(Galatians 6:9 AMP)
(Galatians 6:9 AMP)