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To all of us who have at some point or another…
experienced adverse conditions that we just want to give up…
when bills pile up and your paycheck seems as if it’s getting smaller every year…
so tired from all the work, late getting home, traffic…
the house is a mess, grass need cutting, leaks need patching, floor need mopping…
car needs fixing, child needs tutoring, deadlines slipping…
exhausted that 10 seconds after your back feels a chair or bed you’re snoring loudly, mouth agape…
colds on and off, body aches all over…
know what I mean, right?

Then you read an inspirational book or quote, or someone sends you an inspirational text message or email, or you watch a heart-warming movie, or anything or anyone that buoys you up and dismisses the doldrums, scatters the dark clouds and brings on the bright sunlight…the spark within us is rekindled and we are refreshed, reenvigorated, reenergized…we’ve caught our second wind, so to speak. Nothing has changed, except ourselves. How is that? Because within us there’s that being of light, created in the image and likeness of God. We only need to realize that hardships and trials are there to instruct us, not defeat us. Sometimes difficulties are there because we need to feel and prove that we are worthy of the prize…nothing in life worth having comes easy.  Sometimes, hardships are there to force us to find another way, or to tell us “…our focus, needs more focus”, just like what Jackie Chan’s character said in “The Karater Kid”.  We need to focus on the goal.  Sometimes it’s just life telling us to slow down, and admire the beauty around us.  Sometimes it’s God’s way of saying, “You need help. You don’t need to go at it alone. I’m here.”  Whatever it is, there is something there, and more to the point…it ain’t over ’til it’s over. So pick yourself up, dust yourself off, start all over again.  Quitters never win, and winners never quit.

Here’s a familiar poem that I’ve read way back in high school and reading it gives me that little push I need to get out of the hole I’ve fallen into (sometimes of my own making, too).

Don’t Quit
Author Unknown

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow–
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.?

Success is failure turned inside out–
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit–
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

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