I Quit!

March 11, 2009

Google says a new blog is born every 1/2 second. That’s a lot of blogs.

How often is a blog retired?

Some people have been blogging long enough to be through their ‘blogging phase’ it seems. I’m browsing several ‘big-boy’ Christian blogs and noticing several guys who are hanging it up. Some are giving it up for Lent; others are taking a complete sabbatical and don’t know when they’ll be back.

Granted, these are blogs that have already met great success. Tons of people read them. They are some of the top ranked Christian blogs in the world. They have enough people who know them and high enough rankings on every search engine in the world, that they could not write for a year, and still get a million hits.

But, no one can do anything forever.

When is it time to quit something? Not blogging, but anything. As Christians, we really mean when does God say it’s okay to quit. And is it easier or better to quit something as a success, or a failure? If you’re successful, why would you not want more success? And if you aren’t, why admit defeat? Can anyone think of a good example of God giving someone permission to quit, just because their ‘objectives’ weren’t met?

It’s extremely hard for me to quit. Anything. Well, almost anything, as you’ll see in a minute. Sometime in the distant future, when I hang up this blog, I know it will be hard. I just don’t know why it will be hard. I haven’t defined any goals with this blog – so how can I be a success or failure? I.H.S. asked me a great question last Friday about whether I thought I could go to heaven if I quit being a pastor. Funny thing is, I’ve never thought about quitting. In my short years as a pastor, I encountered more difficult situations than I (or maybe you) could ever imagine. Given the same situation, some guys might think God is telling them to get out, to take another road. I am convinced my calling was being truly tested. I have a hard time quitting something even if I’m desperately tired of it.

I just realized this post is a bit tangental to a recent post on what defines success and failure for churches. I think it’s possible, even probable that God may challenge our perceptions of success and failure in the coming years.

Looking back, I’ve quit a lot of things:

I quit playing the trumpet.
I quit biting my nails.
I quit a job.
I quit being so negative.
I quit partying.
I quit being friends with some people.
I quit leading a double life.
I quit dating a girl who wasn’t good for me.
I quit going to the gym.
I quit eating white bread.
I quit an institutional church to pastor a house church.

But none of those things I’ve quit were part of my calling from God. A bunch of them were good things to quit. Some of them, not so much. There’s also still plenty of things I’d like to quit (that also aren’t a part of my Christian work.)

I have a secular job right now that I’ll have no qualms about quitting if something better or more lucrative comes along. My only goal in that job is money (and be a Christian while doing it, I know…) But when you mix God into everything, how do you know it’s time for one phase in your life to end, and a new chapter to begin?

Dear God, can I PLEASE quit now? You can see I’ve utterly failed at everything you’ve told me to do. I’m obviously doing you a disservice and embarassing both of us.

Dear God, I’ve done great work for you, and I know you’re always talking about how the fields are ripe but the workers are few. But I feel like I’ve done my part. I’m thinking of taking a vacation for a year or twelve. What do you think?

This entry turned out a little dreary, againt my intentions, and the inclusion of the video. But it would be fun if everyone shared something you’ve quit! What have you quit? Was it a relief, or a regret? Did you end at the top of your game, or did you go down fighting? Did God give you the OK, or do you think it didn’t matter to God?