Give All You Can

Have you ever thought about throwing in that infamous towel?  Or maybe you erroneously believe that you don’t even have a towel to throw in!

Have you ever been tempted to give in?!  Perhaps you are in that place today where you have decided to just completely quit trying.

Done and done.  Over and out.

You might have no enthusiasm left … no creativity remaining … no love to stir up … no passion in existence … and you have decided that you have absolutely nothing left to give.

Nothing. Left. To. Give.

Are you admitting to yourself, sadly of course, that it is just time to throw in that ragged, over-used, sweaty towel?

Perhaps you think that it might be more honorable to surrender with at least a bit of dignity remaining rather than stay the course and fail miserably.

Can I talk you off the ledge for a minute?  Would you be willing to lay your towel down for just a minute and to listen rather than to toss?

It’s rather obvious to me that in life we have three choices … we have three options when we are out of breath, out of oomph and ready to worm our way out of commitment.

You can either give up … give in … or give all.

Which will it be?

Let’s talk about giving up.

Giving up simply means that you cut your losses and extricate yourself from responsibility.  You turn your back and walk away. No harm … no foul.

You throw in the towel.

Giving up is a short- term solution to a long-term problem. Giving up might sound like a great idea initially but it never is a wise solution in the long haul of life.

Honor is never attached to giving up and most often is the coward’s way out.

I remember my dad used to say to me, “Winners never quit and quitters never win.”

I’ve never forgotten those 7 words of fatherly wisdom … they have come back to haunt me time after time after time.

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My dad believed in faithfulness and in seeing a commitment through to the end.  I was never allowed to quit piano lessons, Girl Scouts or an advanced level Science course before my commitment was over.

My dad believed that there was victory in simply finishing a task.

So put your towel away and listen just a minute or two longer …

Option number two is to give in.  Give in to failure … give in to weakness … give in to other people’s opinions … give in to frustration.

If you decide that you are going to give in rather than go on – what you are actually doing is resigning yourself to the definite possibility that nothing is ever going to change for you.

If you determine that giving in is probably in your best interest, you are welcoming that boring family member whose name is “Apathy” to come and live for a while in the heart that is your home.

Apathy whose sister is “Indifference” and whose mother is “Passivity”.

Your husband is never going to change … your kids are never going to obey … your health will never get better … your finances will never improve … and your dreams will never come true.

“Giving in” is akin to swamp dwelling … just slogging through life with no seen destination … no driving purpose … and no directive boundaries.

Giving in is as lethal as giving up … believe me … I know.  I have done it a time or two and it has never been a powerful choice.  Giving in has always led to regret, to

the misuse of emotions and to paralyzed dreams.

Don’t do it.  Don’t give up and don’t give in.

There is only one choice left for a person of faith.

Give all.

Give all that you can to prayer.  Give all that you can to love.  Give all that you can to hope.  Give all that you can to service.  Give all that you can to others.  Give all that you can to God.  Give all that you can to your family.  Give all that you can to joy.

Give all.

Give all that you can.

I intend to cross my finish line sweaty and not rusty. I intend to use every talent, every gift, every strength and every bit of passion that I possess into every ordinary day.

I intend to believe when everyone else has given up.

I intend to get my hopes up and then to defiantly keep my hopes up when everyone else has declared, “It’s hopeless”.

I intend to be unselfish when others only think of self.

I intend to pray fervently regardless of the mountains that seem to stand in my way.

I intend to love people who are hard to love and forgive people who have been cruel to me or to someone I love.

I refuse to be offended.

I will be kind.  I will be truthful.  I will be enthusiastic.  I will choose joy.

I will not give in.  I will not give up.  I will give all!

Thanks for listening to my heart this week.  As you know by now, my heart is truly not a perfect heart but it is a heart that is filled to overflowing with gratitude for the life I have been given and for the people who walk with me.  And, it continues to be a heart that is relentlessly chasing after God and all that He is!