Don't give up.
I suppose if I had to summarize all that I felt God was trying to impress on me this last week it would be those three words. "Don't give up."
It's too easy to look at your circumstances, your burdens, how far you have left to travel, and so many other factors and just give up and stop.
After my unexpectedly long trek to the library yesterday my brother asked me something along the lines of "What were you thinking when you first left?" And it made me remember how hard those first steps were. It's one thing to commit to a journey 12 miles long when you're 6 miles from home and have to take those last 6 miles in order to return. But something has to be going on in your head to convince you to walk away from the comforts of your home and begin walking.
Too often the point of giving up isn't in the middle of our struggle, it happens before a struggle ever starts. It happens so early on that it prevents the struggle from ever beginning. We give up before we ever start.
"It's too far"
"It might rain"
"I'm not strong enough"
"Something might go wrong"
"This is a silly endeavor"
"It will take too long"
"It's just going to be too hard"
So we give up. We take our tennis shoes off and find a nice safe hobby that doesn't challenge our preconceived notions of what we're capable of.
But all this week as I panted up hills on my bike, and walked way too far, and as I stood in the doorway preparing to begin a walk I wasn't sure about, all I could imagine was God telling me not to give up. Don't give up.
So whatever you do, don't give up. Don't be afraid to start. And don't let the devil rationalize you into defeat. Walking to the library doesn't make sense to anyone, but I needed to do it. And I did it. And while I'm proud that I made the walk, I'm most proud of the fact that I started the walk. Because if there was a point I would have given up at, it was there.
So find something, ask God for something, then start it. Even if it seems impossible, unreasonable, illogical, or even unnecessary. Don't ever stop starting.