Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Inner Strength (04/20/06)
TITLE: Gritting, Not Quitting
By Lauren Beyenhof
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During my lunch break I usually tune in to the first hour of Dr. Laura's radio program on KFI. I remember a particular call that resonated strongly with me. The woman who called in to the show had a simple request; she wanted to know if Dr. Laura had any suggestions for surviving grad school in spite of being burned out.
Dr. Laura replied by telling the caller how she personally had gotten through several years of school consisting of intense coursework, boring material, and difficult examinations. The more Dr. Laura described her educational experiences, the more I found myself relating to her. She said that every time she was faced with a midterm or final, she vowed she'd quit because it was so difficult. As my family will testify, I also said those same things after every midterm and final. Needless to say, Dr. Laura didn't quit. Here's why:
"I'm a gritter." she said.
She went on to explain that many people are quitters, not gritters. They bail out on things that are difficult because they are they type of people who lose interest in something when they cease to be entertained.
I believe that Dr. Laura's discussion of gritters and quitters can also be applied to our Christian lives. In some cases, life is undoubtedly more difficult than college. Just like many of my college friends who opted to switch majors after that first D on the Biology 5A midterm, many Christians bail out on their faith when presented with trying circumstances. God never promised us that life would be easy. In fact, Jesus very clearly says that in this world we will have trouble. Throughout the Bible we see examples of life getting pretty rough for some of God's children. We also see examples of gritters--people who held onto their faith and trusted God to be their source of strength.
God did not put us on earth to be entertained. Nor does he promise that as his children we will be shielded from the harsh realities of life. When life presents us with difficult circumstances, we can't just quit because we don't think it's fair that our plans aren't going our way anymore. Inner strength comes from recognizing our frailties and weaknesses.
God doesn't expect us to be able to handle anything on our own. I think that he expects us to hunker down, grit our teeth and cling fiercely to him through anything and everything. His strength, not our own, is what enables us to carry on instead of quitting.
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