Late the other night, I got a call from the watch commander of our local police department. He was calling me, as the lead chaplain for our department, to find out if I knew how to reach another pastor in a nearby town. A husband and father of four had committed suicide and his wife, who found him, was trying to reach her pastor. Fortunately, I was able to call another pastor who gave me her pastor’s cell phone and I called him to pass on the horrific news so he could contact her. Sadly, this guy called it quits and left his family and pastor totally stunned.
Let’s be honest, life isn’t always easy. Things can be very tough, very dark and very difficult. The demands of life cause many to want to hang it up and quit altogether. They decide it’s not worth it anymore. The good news is, most do not want to end their lives. But still, they want to walk away from jobs, careers, marriages, families or other responsibilities.
When you get to that place of wanting to throw in the towel, let me suggest four things:
Q –Quiet When you are near the end of your rope, it is very important to find a place to be quiet and let your Creator speak to you. Time with God is always important, but especially when you are going through a difficult time, slow down and listen to Him. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know I am God!” Let Him speak admiration, conviction, courage, peace, calmness, wisdom, direction, and whatever else you need to hear.
U –Unplug Unplug every connection to any source that is draining to you. You might need to temporarily disengage from your laptop, your iPad, your phone, your email, or anything that is tethering you to the world. Maybe you need a vacation or at least a day or two off. Sometimes you need to temporarily distance yourself from relationships that are sucking the life out of you. Now, of course, don’t be stupid and make things worse in your life. But disconnection from the energy drainers in your life can help you get recharged.
I –Interaction Talk to someone. It is so important to have close, open, and transparent relationships. People that you can be vulnerable with, but still be encouraged. People that you can cry to, but still feel respect from. A lot of people think they have to withdraw from people and go through the valley alone. Not so. Just choose those interactions wisely. If you can’t find someone close to you, find a professional to help. Go to a counselor. You need someone to talk to. Let it out before you say, “I Quit!”
T –Try Try something new. Do whatever it takes to fill your tank and get out of your rut. Without breaking out of a rut, you’ll be back in the same old groove. And a rut is simply a grave with both ends knocked out. Try something different. Maybe you can find a new hobby, a new sport, a new interest, a new time schedule, a new pattern of “quiet time” with God, a new place to go, or a new exercise program. And a new spouse is not the answer. 🙁 But try something that moves you toward a hopeful future.
QUESTION: What do you do to keep from quitting? Share it with us below.