When You’re Tempted to Give Up

IN 90-DEGREE HEAT
of a late July afternoon
I hit the 500-mile mark.

Fighting the heat
was nothing
compared to
fighting the desire
to give up on the goal –

1,000 miles on the bike this year.

* * *

When I began in March
I imagined seeing 500
on the odometer
and being thrilled,
but it was less exciting than that.

I hit 500
and discover
the biggest obstacle

is not sore legs or seat
or sickness
or rain
or heat
or sun
or flat tires
or poison ivy (which I had for 3 wks.)
or road construction
or houseguests
or busy schedule
or travel
or gear problems
or lack of riding clothes (though my favorite pants bit the dust)
or bike-rack issues
or calls for help taking me away.

No, none of these.

Only that
somewhere between
my mom dying 😦
and a family reunion 🙂
and a baby born 🙂 🙂
and another one coming 🙂 🙂 🙂
and my mother-in-law (who is very dear to me)
needing hospice care 😦
and friends’ splitting 😦
and elderly neighbors failing 😦
and my seeming to always be in need of a haircut

I was overwhelmed,
nothing left in me.
And the thought of getting on the bike was just too much.

The first casualty
of long-term goals
is always
enthusiasm.

* * *

I GIVE IT A REST,
just 2 days.

And when again
I get on the bike,
my enthusiasm pockets still feel empty,
but
I don’t get far
before
there it is,
a spark –
just a small one –

and while I can’t bear to think
of doing another 500,
it seems possible
to do just one.

And if I can make the decision
to do one
500 more times,
I will reach my goal. I will.

* * *

REST,
in a culture of 24/7 news cycles and such,
is undervalued,
greatly craved
and a lost art.

But REST,
regularly punctuating
a string of small steps,
gives breathing space,
restores,
gives a chance for renewed perspective.

The Sabbath was made for man.
Lay hold of it.

Today, in October’s wondrous mix of warmth and chill and color, the overwhelmedness of another season fast falling away behind me, I will pass the 825 mark. I’ll do the last 175 the way I did the first and all the others in between, one mile at a time.

About Marilyn

Reading, thinking, listening, writing and talking about faith, creativity, ESL for refugees, grief and finding the story in a story. Student of Spanish. Foe of procrastination. Cheez-it fan. People person with hermit tendencies or vice-versa. Thank you so much for reading.
This entry was posted in commitment, goals, rest, Sabbath, vision. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to When You’re Tempted to Give Up

  1. bethhavey says:

    Marilyn, Lay hold of today and your loves. Hang in there. Find some moments just for you. Beth

    Like

  2. Sharon O says:

    Wow, you are doing it, good job. Be proud of yourself and rest when you are done with your goal.

    Like

  3. Belinda says:

    On our Thanksgiving weekend, I take your words of wisdom and give thanks, for rest.

    Like

  4. Pingback: Tempted to Give Up? | Heartfelt Devotionals

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