Many times, growing up, I remember my parents saying, “Don’t be a quitter.  If you start something, you need to finish it.”  Those times helped me learn patience and perseverance and were sometimes painful, but they were valuable lessons in life.

Think about sitting on the end of the bench while your friends were out playing on the field or court; taking a class where you and the teacher just didn’t hit it off from day one; or accepting a job and knowing quickly it was not what you thought it was going to be.  All of these scenarios may bring quitting to mind, but learning to stick with it and not quitting can often bring long-term rewards that we may not see at the time.

Since the beginning of creation, work has been a gift we are to engage in to receive blessings of many kinds.  Each of us has unique God-given talents and skills specifically designed to do certain things well.  Our reward may be monetary, or it may be a hug from a toddler with a clean diaper.  Wherever we are in life, it is important to learn and understand what our gifts are.  Not using our talents or trying to do what someone else thinks we should do will lead to frustration and failure.  We simply cannot be someone we are not.

Life itself is a marathon; sometimes the path gets hard, and we want to quit.  But we cannot quit; we must strive to finish the race strong.  As we run along life’s path, we ask ourselves, “Do I live to work or work to live?”  If you live only to work, you may be at risk of getting bored or burned out.  If you only work to live and go to a J-O-B to get m-o-n-e-y, you risk simply going through the motions in life and not engaging the talents God has given you.  Either way, balancing out the use of your talents to do something you enjoy is critical and will make the marathon much more enjoyable.

Life truly needs that balance.  To endure the constant challenges we all face, keeping things in balance is critical no matter what our calling in life is.