Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pound the Rock

So the other day my truck quit. I was out driving around town making cold calls on some businesses trying to find a job and things were going fairly well until my truck died and failed to restart. I had it towed to my house and with the help of my dad over the phone, began to diagnose the problem. My roommate was helping me out and could sense my frustration. Somewhere in the process I muttered, “at what point do you say enough is enough and quit?” He responded very pointedly, “You don’t.”

We had a saying in the Greenville College football program, “Pound the rock.” The idea is that if a man were standing in a field beating on a rock with a sledgehammer, regardless of the rocks size, sooner or later the rock is going to break. Each swing of the sledge transmits more energy into the rock and eventually, the rock will crumble.

The saying is meant to illustrate handling life’s challenges. So often in life we can feel like we’re giving our all with little to no success. We’re pounding away but just can’t seem to crack the rock. Life throws us challenges and obstacles and threatens to steer us off course at every turn. All too often, we bend and break under our circumstances and opt to go in another direction. “I’ve been doing this for so long and I’m not getting anywhere,” we reason.

I find myself doing that very thing as I reluctantly have begun looking for a job. Not by choice but life, bills and other commitments don’t stop coming just so that I can establish myself in this industry and figure out a way to make a living doing what I love. Fortunately I have a great support group of people that encourage me every time I entertain the thought of quitting. They put my pursuit back into perspective and help me realize that I have come a long ways. I might not be where I want to be yet, but I’m on track.

Fortunately, God has allowed me a situation in life that I can afford to pour myself out and live for next to nothing in hopes of achieving this goal. I certainly couldn’t be doing what I’m doing now if I was married or had other people depending on me.

All I can do is keep showing up. Paul offers in 1 Corinthians 7:17 “You must accept whatever situation the Lord has put you in and continue you on as you were when God first called you.” My roommate echoed Paul’s words when he told me, “You just gotta keep showing up.”

It’s easy to tuck tail and run when trouble strikes. Even more so when you fail to see any sort of fruit from all your hard work. But like our man standing in the field, you’ll never know what that next swing will bring if you don’t take it. It might not be but one that breaks the rock but one thing is for sure, the rock won’t break if you don’t swing the hammer.

I can say with confidence that I believe this is the place God has me in life. I’ve not neglected His word or his voice in those moments when He’s called me elsewhere like Greenville for instance and He has, in a very round about way, brought me back to the very place I’ve always longed to be. It’s not going quite like I had planned, but then again, when we do things Gods way how often does it work out just like we thought?

So as I’m working this out in my own life, my encouragement to you is to stay the course. The season you find yourself in my be unpleasant and may lack any sort of fruit but continue on “as you were when God first called you.” Maybe you don’t buy the whole God thing. Regardless, the quickest way to ensure you won’t reach success in your field is to quit.

We all feel some sort of purpose in life otherwise we wouldn’t keep showing up to work, class, practice or that 5am meeting. We have faith that what we are doing is in some way bringing us closer to our goal, even though at times, the end goal may seem a little hazy. Regardless of the end result, keep showing up. Keep taking steps in the direction you feel lead and watch the path continue to unfold.

“Pound the rock…Relentlessly. Pound the rock.”

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