Have you ever been in a situation where you didn't want to do something so you talked yourself out of doing it and thought that would make you happy? But it didn't, instead you just felt guilty because you didn't do it. A lot of good people have set on the sidelines because they couldn't get them selves motivated to try. Maybe they have tried and been let down in a previous situation. Or they participated and it seemed like there was no "return" for their effort. We are wired as people to love instant gratification. We like to see something for our trouble. And when the results don't seem to match the output, we feel like giving up!
That is why it makes it so hard to be faithful and consistent sometimes. You don't always get a thank you or see a life changed overnight. You are not always there to see the answer to your long time prayers. Not everyone gets to be up front and get the "recognition" for a job that was full of hard work. We can feel like there is no point in trying because we aren't good enough or have what it takes to make a difference.
The enemy knows us and likes to take advantage of this. He knows what motivates us and is only too happy to step in and stop our progress. For most of us, we are glad to help people out. We sign up to serve and give of our time because we want to feel like we are useful and making a difference. We feel let down and defeated when it seems like what we give is not enough or isn't making any contribution. I know for me personally that I fight with this because my true heart is to help people. I don't feel like I am particularly skilled at one specific thing but loving on people. I have never been the smartest, prettiest or the most talented but I have always been friendly. I am not motivated by things or money. Don't get me wrong!! I'm not saying I don't appreciate having things or money :) but I am more motivated by friendships and relationships. I get more upset when I feel like I have let someone down than when I see my checking account down to $15.
It's hard to want to try again when your first attempt was a failure. Anyone feel my pain? :) For a person who sets the standard for their personal worth by how well they are received by others, something like a failed relationship can cause a major setback. For someone who is a giver, having their gift rejected or undervalued, can almost kill the heart of sharing in a person. People who define success by how much people appreciate their efforts can fight the desire to quit when they don't receive any accolades for all that they do.
We all face times of feeling like a failure, of working hard not to want to quit, of being fed up because we don't matter or make a difference. There is always the chance of being hurt or rejected when you enter into a relationship. There is always the possibility of being overlooked or under appreciated when you put yourself out there. But the greatest way to defeat the Devil and to win in your life it to TRY. If you don't try, you NEVER succeed. If you don't take the chance and put yourself out there, you WILL be alone. I don't believe that God ever frowns when we try - succeeding or not. I believe He experiences sadness when He watches us put ourselves on the bench of life. The Devil gloats when we quit on ourselves and others. We have saved him the trouble. Even he knows that we draw our strength when we put ourselves "into the game of life" and find a way to contribute.
Why even try? Because that is all we are called to do. At least try! Our life is so much richer for the experiences and the people that are in it. Don't allow yourself to quit and miss it. I know that my life is a sum of all of the things that I have gone through - good and bad. I may not always finish first or even in the top ten but I have vowed that I will cross that finish life. I don't want life to pass me by and I never even tried to experience anything or connect with anyone. We are not alone in this. God is with us. He is fighting for us. We are here for each other - here to cheer each other on in our triumphs and pick each other up when we fail. We have all heard the saying "if at first you don't succeed - try, try again!" What a simple but brilliant motto to live by. I plan on doing this - how about you? Let's do it together! :)
Your Friend in this thing called life! - April