I had coffee with a neighbor late last year. He’s a cartoonist and author. He’s a Pulitzer Prize winner. I told him how too often I quit before I really get started with my work.
“We all do that,” he immediately replied.
“Yeah,” I thought to myself.
Sometimes we just need to be reminded. We quit, but we can start again.
It’s the first of the year. You’ve got goals, dreams. Maybe not “resolutions,” but hopes. I say often to myself and the kids, “His mercies are new everyday.” But there is something about a new year that highlights our hope within.
You want to lose weight. You eat that last extravagant meal before you start.
You want to limit screen time, so you binge watch one last series.
Last fall, my five kids were in four schools. I joined non-profit board. A ministry I oversee at church required a new level of commitment. My fullest speaking schedule ever had just wrapped up. A newly formed advisory council was ready to invest into this ministry.
Our first meeting was the next day.
I decided to call each one and cancel the meeting. Dissolve the ministry.
My schedule for 2020 was not filling up. My book had reviews, but had not “found its place.” I couldn’t do all the things. The answer? Quit. Shut down this ministry before the advisory council ever met.
Funny thing. I never got around to calling them. We met and the ministry found new life. One week later, my first podcast interview was booked and a whole list of blog ideas were outlined.
The fullness of life overwhelmed in a moment. Things weren’t what I expected them to be on my timeline, so I had been ready to quit. I shared this with my advisory council.
“We’re glad you didn’t. You dont’ have to carry this alone anymore,” they said.
I had carried this ministry for nearly four years all alone. I “quit” lots of times in all kinds of ways. I always started again.
You may feel like you carry your life, work, and parenting alone or without enough support.
Maybe like me, your perspective gets skewed. Your expectations of what and when are not met, so you quit. It nags and haunts you. What do you do?
Ask Jesus for help and insight.
Ask others who know you for feedback, a friend or two.
Discern what is good and right for you. Let the thing fall to the wayside and move on with peace OR pick it up and start again. This time in His grace.
What does is it look like to start again in His grace?
The motive shifts from “I’ll get it right this time” to “This is good and right. Help me do it Jesus.”
Jesus is always with us and for us, ready to help. That is why we can start again any good thing that brings life.
Today. Tomorrow. Whenever you are ready to take the risk.
And yes, it is a risk. I get it. You could quit again or worse, fail. But I’m convinced it’s worth it because risks require faith. When we walk with Jesus by faith, we can only grow in Him no matter what the outcome looks like.
What is the thing you think you may start again? Lift it to Jesus and follow His lead.
Jesus, help us live into this risk to lay it down or start again not out of our own strength, but Yours. We want to do this by Your empowered grace not our own expected performance. Give us victory. You are our God. We are Your people. Help us live into that reality. Oh, how we need You!