Don’t Give Up

For me, there’s something so exciting about starting something new.

Planning for an unknown adventure, paving the way for something you’ve dreamed about can be so invigorating.  I’m a pioneer at heart, a fire starter so setting out on a new journey is where I find myself at my best, that is until the honeymoon is over and the real rubber needs to hit the road in order to gain traction.

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It’s about then that things start to get a little tricky.

When the excitement wanes, frankly there are many days when you begin to wonder if maybe this journey wasn’t such a good idea after all. The dream starts to crumble and along with it, your motivation.

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The struggle starts.

Doubt, that feeling of uncertainty can come in like a flood. Lack of conviction can creep up on you inch by inch and snuff out the fire that once burned bright. Before you know it, you begin to question everything that brought you to the precipice. The one where you threw caution to the wind and bravely stepped out over the edge.

Suddenly the unknown seems daunting and you want to shrink back, forgetting this path that once seemed so right.

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In all reality, I sometimes feel like the blazing trail is all too much an uphill battle. One I could do without and I find myself silently thinking “why don’t you just settle for staying home and reading the book you brought about someone else’s exciting journey?” It’s so much easier to talk about our goals, our dreams, to read about how to get there rather than actually DO what needs to be done to achieve them.

It’s then that we need reminding that

“In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends to poverty” Proverbs 14:23

I’m not a quitter and I don’t want you to be. Keep believing.

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There have been odd exceptions when I’ve stepped out and things have taken off with little effort and the pioneering journey has been somewhat effortless. Like when we started Down South Gospel, our little country church that lives on today and one of my last ventures with a dear friend. We stepped out together. Within a few months, our Gourmet Grazing Table business gained so much traction that we found ourselves run off our feet as our popularity grew. Oh that every journey was easy.

 

I wonder where your journey is taking you?

Maybe you’ve started writing that book, the one you’ve dreamed of for so long and you have no idea how you’ll get it published or if it’s even going to be good enough. Maybe you’ve finally had the courage to step into the coaching career that you know you were made for. Perhaps you’re trying to find the finance to start a new business or simply save for your dream home.

Whatever it is – it takes courage and it takes determination too.

It’s in these doubting moments, the moments when we struggle that we need to encourage ourselves and those we walk alongside to stay the course, to be there for each other. The hard work will pay off.

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I encourage you today not to give up. Keep moving towards your goals. Baby steps at first, one after the other and then the bigger steps will come. You will reap a harvest if you keep going.

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. ” Galatians 6:9

Sojourn

The Hebrew word Sojourn translates as ‘ger’ (pronounced gare) and means ‘a temporary inhabitant, a newcomer lacking rights, an alien’.

While we are not gypsies (a member of a race or people originally from Northern India, traveling from place to place) nor newcomers, we ourselves have become sojourners and it seems we have also adopted the “place to place’ part of the gypsy equation. I must say, while its quite freeing, its also quite a strange feeling to have no abode, no place to call home.

Something in me wants to settle, wants to nest and if it were only “I” – “I” think maybe, “I” would. My heart longs to let my roots go deep again, somewhere. Maybe a little cottage close to my little big ones, now bearing little ones all of their own.

I long to plant a tree and watch it grow, to gather some hens and shut them in at night, to plant a seed and delight in watching a flower bloom, to set up a desk with pretty pens and paper, to place a soft comfy chair nearby so I can rest when I tire of writing, to hang my favorite pictures on the wall nearby.

So many things, beautiful things, seem just out of reach.

And yet perhaps, in time, I would tire of this too. Perhaps I would soon long to be free of those roots and those chickens. Perhaps I’d be willing to take those pictures down from the wall again and place them back in the box from whence they came so we could set to the road again.

Why are humans so fickle, never at rest? Always longing for something better, something bigger. Something more exciting?

In the book of Timothy, it says

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.  Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” 1 Timothy 6-10

So, my challenge to myself is to cultivate contentment. I have thought long about this, this contentment. This is something I yearn for, perhaps even more than those things above mentioned. I have contemplated contentment over and over. Some months back I even created a little logo with the idea that there might be people out there just like me, longing for contentment. So I added those words there, underneath the “write a little every day” logo, thinking maybe I would create something called the contentment co.

I didn’t.

But the word stayed with me and another word came alongside it.

Two words,

cultivate,

contentment,

cultivate contentment,

yes, cultivate contentment.