Monday, November 02, 2009

Giving Up

When I was a senior in high school, I decided to go out for the wrestling team. The team had only started the year before, so we were all a pretty inexperienced bunch. I was even less experienced than the other members of the team, so I was rarely able to wrestle in my weight class.

However, the person in the weight class above me often didn't get his weight down to the proper level before a meet, so I was asked to wrestle in his place. That meant that I would be wrestling someone on the other team who had probably been wrestling for at least 4 years and was heavier than I was, stronger than I was, and definitely more experienced than I was. I knew before I went out on the mat that I would lose. Sure enough, after a couple of minutes of trying to act tough, I would find myself on my back fighting to prevent being pinned.

At that time, the thought would enter my mind,
"Go on, George, give up. You're going to lose, anyway!"
And, that's exactly what I did!

One morning several years later while I was praying, I was reminded of what I had done in those wrestling matches. The first thought that came into my mind then was,

"Oh, Lord. Please don't let me give up in life until I'm genuinely defeated!"

If I had lost by a decision when I was on the wrestling mat, I would have given the other team 3 points. Because I gave up, our team lost 5 points.

Life is made up of struggles. How we respond to those struggles is up to us. A game is a game. But, life is not a game. The stakes are too high to give up prematurely. God wants us to be tenacious against our "enemies" in life, and never give up until we've been genuinely defeated!

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