A colleague was recently telling me a story of a man whose son years ago was growing weary of balancing the rigors of college with two part-time jobs.
Here was a typical day for this 19-year-old student:
His mornings would begin in the pre-dawn dark, in the middle of the night, really, delivering newspapers out of his beat-up 1977 Chevy Malibu. After the final paper was tossed, he’d race home, shower, change and grab a Pop-Tart or bagel on the way out to class. A typical school day lasted till 1 PM. He’d then rush off to his other job at J.C. Penney, changing in his car. He would read, study and tackle his homework during his two breaks in the stockroom. Dinner at 9:00 and maybe a little television and then it was off to bed. In a few hours, the routine would begin all over again.
Meanwhile, he saw more affluent friends living a much easier life, regularly receiving money from parents with seemingly few expectations and demands from anyone. Jealousy turned to envy and finally, bitterness and exasperation.
“I think I’m going to take a semester or two off, Dad,” he said one night. He had no intention of ever going back. He wanted to make money and shake free from this hassle, but he knew his father wouldn’t endorse that approach. So they talked, and his dad saw through the smoke. He gave him some advice he never forgot.
“When you have come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on,” the father urged. “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up!”
The boy was defiant. “But I just can’t do it,” he said dejectedly.
His father pressed on. “Son, the people who have made an impact on the world and who are remembered are those who refused to throw in the towel. Thomas Edison didn’t give up. Winston Churchill didn’t give up. Vince Lombardi never quit, and look at Maxwell McBride.”
The young man looked bewildered and asked, “Who is Maxwell McBride?”
“See,” replied the father knowingly. “You’ve never heard of him. He gave up!”
They laughed. The son didn’t give up.
Are you weary and dragging and ready to throw in the towel? Do you have a son or daughter on the edge, thinking about dropping out of school, surrendering a dream or desire?
Tie a knot and hang on. And if you’re down, take heart and turn to Him. Because when you are down, He will lift you up.