Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Never Say Die

Tobi got into the court for the umpteenth time. He aimed a shot at the basket and watched the ball bounce back to him. He tried again and the ball narrowly missed the basket. With his head bowed, and heart sad, he walked home. On getting home, he angrily rubbed off the chalk circle he had used on the wall for home practice. He had been trying hard to get on the school basketball team but it seemed he just never got it. Six months! He had spent the last six months of his life practicing everyday. Still, he never passed the qualifying test. He couldn’t do this anymore. He was going to quit.

Amaka stomped into her bedroom. With tears pouring down her cheeks, she shouted ‘it’s over, it’s over!’ She punched her pillow and shook her head violently, weeping. She couldn’t go any further. This was it. She wasn’t going to subject herself to humiliation anymore. The dance group she so desperately wanted to join had high standards and obviously, she wasn’t meeting those standards. No matter how many times she rehearsed, it all came back to the same thing. The dance leader would say with a sad smile ‘Sorry, Amy, but maybe another time’ and ‘another time’ never came. Goodbye to dancing.

Halima closed up her dictionary and jotter with a loud thud. She got up from the table and went to get a bottle of cold water and then, watch TV. No way was she going back to those spellings. Let the English teacher think whatever he would. For all she cared, he could even grade her ‘F’. It was only spellings. They were so hard and who needed them anyway? She was going to become a fashion designer so, what did spellings add to her? “I give up.”

Okay, people. How many times have you said those words “I GIVE UP”? Yours may not be in trying to get on a school team or learning Math or English. It may be in trying to complete a fund raising project, lead a friend of yours to Christ, learn a trade or craft, bake a cake, knot a tie or even tie shoe laces (ha ha!). The truth is that at one time or the other, every one has had a low point and wanted to say I give up. Truly, such times will always come but I have good news for you – you’re not alone.

Giving up is resigning from a task or an undertaking. When people start anything, they sometimes have to face obstacles, and then, they wonder how to overcome these obstacles. When many of them don’t find a way out, they opt out. By so doing, they miss an opportunity for greatness and sometimes unfortunately, God’s plans for their lives. (Do I see you nodding?) So you ask me, ‘how do I not opt out and give up?’

Come with me on this jolly ride. Imagine you are going on a long journey by road. This journey is the way to achieving your goal. Before you embark on this journey, you need some things but what are they? Let’s see.

Have a goal and make sure it’s in line with God’s plan for you. You see, you can’t go into something God doesn’t want you to do and expect Him to back you up all the way. No. Whatever you want to achieve must have a good backing and be in line with God’s word. Really, as a Christian, there’s not much you can do without God’s help. So, start with prayer. Pray about whatever task you want to undertake. As the road becomes tougher or rougher, the Holy Spirit, your guide, will lead you and help you overcome the roadblocks.

Study your Bible. Get out God’s promises concerning the task you are undertaking. Speak the promises out to yourself. Read them until they become a part of you. That’s the fuel that will keep you going – God’s word.

Take a bowl of determination chips. Make up your mind that this is what you want to do and nothing would stop you. When you’re hungry and it seems like you want to go back or relent, dip into the bowl of chips and build up your determination.

Don’t forget the binoculars. Focus. Keep your eyes on the road. If you get a little tired, park and look ahead to see where you’re going to. The better you focus, the faster you go and the ‘real-er’ the actualisation of your goal seems. Don’t let go of your goal. Focus on it and let it be the centre of your thoughts.

Yes! Please take your road map with you. You need a sense of direction. You need a mentor. Make sure you have a mentor, someone who has done this before, who knows what it’s like. You look up to your mentor to put you through if you get confused. So, if you think you’re getting lost, get your binoculars of focus and look up that road map. You’ll be back on track.

Take a bag of confidence. Believe in yourself. Have faith in God and in yourself that you can do whatever you want to with God’s help. Don’t carry the baggage of past failures and accusations around with you. Shed off those heavy weights and take a light bag of confidence, with a broad smile. You can do this.

Take your trusted friend along. Trying to do something all alone may not be the best for you. Tell a friend you can trust about your goal and how you want to achieve it. A good companion is good for you and your friend can even give you ideas to help you. You can also tell your friend how you feel per time. If you feel you can’t tell a friend (but I hope you will), the Holy Spirit is always there for you. Even your parents don’t mind being by your side.

Finally, don’t forget your bottle of rest. Don’t wear yourself out with work. Take some time out for appraisal. See how far you’ve come and how far you have to go. Enjoy a refreshing drink of rest for a while and continue your journey.
Dear Friend, the next time you feel like quitting, take a look in your car. What do you need? Take and use them all; you are almost there; you will reach your goal!!!

Written by Ifeoluwa Ogunkanmi ( Tel: 08053450646)

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