try, try again

The temptation to quit at times is well, tempting.

How many times do we have to get up after falling?

Sometimes I just get tired.

Charles Swindoll once said, “A failure is not one who fails, but instead one who quits trying.”

Sometimes I get tired of trying. I look around and seem to focus on those who have attained what I truly hope for. The negative comments bombard me, but I notice that they are really coming from me.

They say it takes 9 positive comments to offset one negative one. I find it interesting that the only comments I tell myself are the negative ones. It looks like I have a lot of positive talking to do.

I am tenacious. I stick with something till it’s done. But lately the sticking part is becoming harder. I think I need to remember that what I tell myself is crucial. It says in Proverbs 23:7, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”

Our thoughts matter. I think I need to think about this.

The little engine that succeeded was his own cheering section. Over and over he told himself, “I think I can, I think I can.”

I saw this principal illustrated in my own life when I attended Judson College. I had the gift of getting lost. When I realized that I needed to make the weekly trip to Elgin, unchartered territory, I started reminding myself that I don’t navigate well, that this would really be a challenge. 

And as long as I reminded myself of that I kept getting lost. One time I actually got close to the college when I kept following the signs that said, “Keep right.”

All the way on the ramp to I 94! Forty-five minutes later I walked into my 3-hour long class. Tears on my reddened face I simply stated, “I got lost.”

I remember counting the times I would need to make the trip as if somehow that would make it easier. “You only have to help me 82 times God.”

Finally I realized that if I talked myself into getting lost, maybe what I was saying to myself mattered. So, I started telling myself I could do it. I started calming myself down when I could feel panicky. Not only was it unchartered territory, but my classes were at night.

I did graduate from Judson. I got my BA that I had long wanted. But, one of my biggest accomplishments was that I changed my self-talk.

I think I’m in need of that again. 

No matter what I face today, I will watch what I tell myself. For the truth is, I can keep trying. I’m no different than that little engine. (I bet he would have gotten lost at times too if he wasn’t on that track).

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