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Towel Throwing
by Brenda Kern 
06/04/07
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That's it--I give up!

Now that's the straw that broke the camel's back!

Plus lots more.

We've got lots of ways to say we are overwhelmed, defeated, and that we quit.

Another: Aw, for cryin' out loud! This one is most effective in expressing your emotions when it's...cried out loud.

Life can gang up on you, can't it? Little things become big, big things become enormous, and then, poof! The human spirit takes a backbreaking hit, and begins to crumble.

It's tempting to give in to the avalanche of anxiety and the whiplash of worry isn't it? Why soldier on? You've tried and tried, and gotten nowhere. Or, you've taken one step forward, only to suffer the proverbial two steps back problem--or was it nineteen steps this time?

Where is God in all this? When things go from bad to worse to "run for your life," what does God want from us?

A couple of obvious answers? Pray. Turn to Him.

Then everything changes from horrible to hunky dory instantaneously, right?

Probably not, at least not in my experience.

The point is leaving it with Him, little or big, an irksome irritation or a bashing blow.

We're so used to instant this and automatic that, though. Waiting is a challenge for us--whether it's waiting for something good, or for relief from something bad.

Is there something I can do to speed up the process, or at least help Him out a little?

To speed it up, check with God.

The best way I've found to make my own problems seem smaller to me is to quit it with the naval gazing and look outward.

Then I suddenly see the challenges others face, too, instead of just my own. Lo and behold, some of their problems are also quite hefty!

Maybe I could help somehow--be of service...

Now we're getting somewhere. Let's take a common phrase and turn it on its ear. From the Dictionary of American Slang (1960): to throw in the towel (sponge): 1. To concede defeat; to surrender. (From prize fighting use; a manager whose prizefighter is being badly beaten signifies that he wants to stop the fight, and concede defeat, by actually throwing a towel or sponge into the ring--two items readily at hand since they are used to sponge and dry perspiration off the fighter between rounds.)

So, you're slugging away, but nearing the end of your resources, and you see a towel sailing over your head into the ring. Someone or something has taken the matter out of your hands, and you cannot go on; the fight is over.

Anger and disappointment are normal reactions, but what should you do with the towel? Just leave it there on the bloodstained canvas, an eternal symbol of your defeat?

Or, should you pick it up and give it another throw, this time over your shoulder, and offer to wash the feet of your opponent?

The choice is yours; the example was His.


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