I saw this while finishing a 6 mile run when I really wanted to quit… I decided to finish rather than let the grass grow up around me also. But sometimes it is time to give up…
That title oughta scare the heck outta those that are worrying about me for my “dark” posts. But I do, I give up, I finally just give up.
I remember one of the first times I gave up (actually it was my bladder that gave up) when I was about 7 years old. It was my first little league game and I had drank about 5 grape sodas (we got free grape sodas during the game) and back then porta poties were all really tall and leafy and not at all private. By about the second inning I was not only feeling the pressure of the game but also the pressure of the grape sodas and there was no time to fix the second problem. When it came up to my turn at bat it took me about 3 minutes to get hit by a pitch so I could take 1st base (this was really all I was ever good at in baseball.) Then it was about another 15 minutes for my teammates to get walked or (if they were good like me) get hit to move me to third base. The whole time I was on base I was concentrating on two things: controlling my bladder and my coach because I was always worried that I would miss the super-secret signal to steal; he would take his hat off and run his hand through his hair. I was hopping on third out of equal parts nervous excitement and p.p. dance as I watched a few balls and strikes go past the batter out of the corner of my eye. Then it happened, the coach took off his hat, ran his hand through his hair, and looked right at me. Time to steal home! (I’m guessing that there must have been a runner at 1st to complete the squeeze play but at the time I just knew it was time to steel) The pitcher started his windup, I started to run, and my bladder gave up, in exactly that order. I was fast but not fast enough and the catcher saw me and caught the ball with plenty of time to tag me out. He looked at me confused and was prepping for the easy out when he looked down and noticed that was getting a dark spot in my baseball pants. His face distorted as the corners of his mouth turned down and his tongue stuck out as he got out of the way, I stepped on the plate and ran straight past my team trying to congratulate me and past the stands and the fans out into a forest of porta potties to finish the job that my running had started. Then of course I stayed out there the woods to hide embarrassment. I don’t even know if we won the game or not.
I also gave up trying to beat my sister in ping pong (once she beat me using a fork for a paddle.) I gave up trying to be a pro surfer. I painfully gave up my dreams of becoming Spider-Man (o.k. I still harbor that dream a little.)
I gave up drinking….
About 15 years ago I was faced with the fact that if I kept drinking I would never see my kid, or that if I did I would be the worst kind of dad. I got myself in control and squeezed my knuckles together and just quit. I was in control of my drinking and I am still sober 15 years later.
My control was just an illusion though, self-discipline and squeezing each sober day like it was a lifeline while I dangled dangerously over other issues in my life.
I was making horrible choices but thought I could control things by hiding, deceiving, and outright bold faced-right-in-the-face of my loved ones lying. (oh and lying to myself like a pro) I began to feel an inward shame and hatred that could only be quieted by more actions that required more lies, and I stacked up the broken hearts. Finally I knew it was time to give up. When you try to hang on too tight to control without changing anything you are destined to fail, just like my poor bladder on that inaugural little league game so long ago. I was tired of hanging on, tired of trying to control everything, and mostly just plain tired.
It was then I decided I had to give up my life.
So I did, I gave up my life to God and recognized that Jesus was and is my savior, I gave up trying to make up for the broken hearts and the damage (what could I ever do that could compare to God giving up His Son for me?) I gave up my shame and my self-hatred (that one is hard and I still struggle) and… most importantly, I gave up control. Like it reads I Psalm 100, “It is He who made us, and we are His…,” Knowing that I am his creature I give up my will to His, and so I do give up, I give up everything to Him.
Psalm 100 “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”