I felt totally defeated.
I spent the last nine months painstakingly writing my doctoral dissertation. I paid an editor to make sure every word was being used correctly then had a second editor review it making sure everything was formatted correctly.
I handed it in to the technical editor expecting it to pass with flying colors but instead he tore it apart. What I thought was a decent draft turned out to be a complete disaster!
All that work! All that time! He was not impressed.
When I read through his edits I actually felt insulted and I am pretty sure he meant to be insulting.
After spending 10 hours behind a desk last week rewriting the first 40 pages, I want to quit. I am not going to quit, but I sure do feel like quitting.
Maybe this is a pep talk to me but I want to offer some real life inspiration while I have temporarily taken up residence in the gutter.
First, remember that life is not about status, it is about significance. The only reason I am still in school is that I need to figure out how to be a better leader. Finishing my dissertation will help sharpen my skills as a leader. If you do not get that promotion or new job, it does not mean that you are any less significant. If you are a stay at home mom, it does not mean that you are not significant. The only status God cares about is your status with him.
Your status at work means nothing to God. Your status in the community does not matter. God only cares about your significance as a kingdom builder. If you want to be significant, live a life that honors God. If you want to achieve worldly status, buy a fancy car you cannot afford to impress people you do not even know. How empty is that?
Second, don’t let setbacks set you back. There will always be something that gets in your way. Have you ever noticed that when you are late you hit every red light and follow slow moving vehicles? Moreover, when you are having a bad day your kids actually enjoy making it worse!
If you let every setback set you back, you will never make any progress. Figure out how to deal with whatever you are facing and keep going. Do not quit.
Third, just because someone does not like your work it does not mean that you are worthless. All of us mess up at times and we are tempted to quit, walk away, and start over.
At times, we do need to slow down and reevaluate in order to make sure we are headed in the right direction. However, most of the time we need to dig deep and press on.
The author of the Book of Hebrews advises Christians to run the race with perseverance. If I let a paper defeat me, how will I ever endure significant trials in my faith? If you quit, how will you endure even bigger trials?
That’s my pep talk for the day. Believe me, writing it was not easy and I have had to re-read it twice just to remind myself to press on. Tomorrow there will be more hills to climb and valleys to cross.
You can make it. Press on my friend.
By Pastor John Braland, pastor at Freshwater Community Church in St. Bonifacius.