YOU’VE COME TOO FAR TO GIVE UP NOW
It never fails to amaze me when you ask somebody – how are you doing? Most people will respond in the negative. There is quite a pervasive sense of disillusionment in the air for a wide range of reasons.
When we consider the socio–economic fibre of our country South Africa; to say that we are in a crisis, would be the understatement of the decade. Economically – we are in the throes of a longer recession. On the political front, kleptocracy and factionalism amongst the ruling elite keeps rising. Socially, we have witnessed the most horrendous incidences of women and child abuse on a scale and intensity previously unheard of in our society. Poverty, unemployment and inequality remains stubbornly high. Throw into the mix the ravaging effects of Covid-19, and you indeed have a potent cocktail that feeds into this psyche of disillusionment. It seems that a speedy solution to the current state of affairs, is a very remote possibility.
Discouragement is a reality of life and sometimes hits you when least expected but can also be a progressive build-up occasioned by inner turmoil. Maybe today you are considering to put in your resignation because of constant setbacks in your work relationships and aspirations. Given some of the vexing socio-economic challenges in our country, you might have considered emigration. Unmet expectations in your marriage and incompatible differences might have triggered the thought of a divorce…. You want an exit strategy because of all the hurt, disappointments and betrayal; you just don’t have the energy to give it one more try.
Just like in nature, life is about cycles and seasons. Even in the depth of disillusionment and discouragement, one needs to know that it is but for a season. Our attitude towards this specific season of life will determine how successfully we navigate it.
Some of us will remember that just prior to the first democratic elections in 1994, some people from certain sectors of our society stock piled on tinned foods, water, gas stoves and all manner of stuff out of fear for what will happen after a regime change by a Blac majority government. Their worst fears have never materialised and life went on in our beloved country. By this I am by no means discounting the challenges we are beset with, but nobody can deny that we have come a long way in constructing a new South Africa.
Coming from a seriously disadvantaged background with all its constraints, I would never imagined the things I have accomplished in life by God’s grace. I have been written off on quite a few occasions, my family life has been under severe threats and strains, my faith has been stretched; yet I was able to overcome against all odds. Never forget the journey you have already traversed and draw inspiration from the rich tapestry of learning experiences.
The mighty king David was once faced with fierce opposition and threats when the Amalekites destroyed parts of the land. In 1 Samuel 30 : 6 we read “ … But David encouraged himself in the Lord.” I do not have any doubts about how David was able to respond in this manner in the midst of trying circumstances. The book of Psalms is a living record of how he always encouraged himself in the Lord when persecuted, rejected, attacked and betrayed.
Gratitude is the most powerful antidote to discouragement and disillusionment. I would strongly recommend that when you wake up in the morning, reflect on at least one good thing or even more, that happened in your life over the last 24 hours and encourage yourself in it. The mere fact that you are still alive right now, is worth something to be thankful about.
QUITTING IS NOT AN OPTION
Each one of us has been born for a specific assignment in life. That song will never be sung until you compose it. The best-selling book to impact on the lives of others, will never be published unless you write it. That ground breaking invention that will change the economic landscape will never be commissioned unless you start working at it. That community’s circumstances will never be changed for the better until you take leadership in this regard. Quitting on unfinished business can lead to a life of perpetual regret and being a prisoner of ‘’ if only…”
It is in the crucible of life that we need to maintain high levels of Emotional Intelligence. You need to develop self- awareness of how your attitudes and actions impact others. Never allow your state of mind to bring others down. Also be mindful of the company you keep and surround yourself with people that can build you up. Do not become a leader in the alliance of the wounded.
Never make a major decision in a season of turmoil. Wait for the dust to settle down. Your objectivity can be clouded by taking a decision out of compulsion and you will not be able to see the wood for the trees. If possible, take some time out to gain a fresh perspective. It is also helpful to seek wise counsel from someone you trust and whose opinion you value.
Recognise that there are many people who do care. You are not defined by the adverse experience with one or a few individuals. Every day I draw inspiration from the kind gestures, compliments, affirmation, respect and appreciation from family, friends and sometimes from people least expected. It is for their sake that I am not prepared to throw in the towel and keep pressing on in pursuit of my mission in life. There is just too much at stake.
Don’t quit on your dream, career, marriage, family, life assignment, business, close friends, community, country, faith… Your breakthrough might just be a few moments away. You have come too far to give up now. Romans 12 : 12 “ Rejoicing in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. “
Let’s keep hope alive!