Never Give Up by Joyce Meyer
"Everything we undertake in life has a beginning and an end. Typically, we are excited at the beginning of an opportunity, a relationship, or a venture; we're also happy when we can celebrate our achievement and have the satisfaction of a fulfilled desire. But between the beginning and the end, every situation or pursuit has a 'middle' - and the middle is where we often face our greatest challenges, hurdles, roadblocks, obstacles, detours and tests. People who are easily led by their emotions rarely finish what they start. They give up when the project is no longer exciting and all they see in front of them is hard work. God wants us to be people who finish what we begin, and He will help us if we let Him."
I was thinking today about last year at our 5 year anniversary benchmark and how this year is completely different. This year I am at home because I had out-patient surgery yesterday and my doctor told me I needed a couple of days to recover and gain strength. Today I was calling the tearoom to check in how everyone was doing. I rarely take a day off and to be off on our 6th year birthday was reflective to say the least.
Joyce Meyer goes on to say people who finish well in life are the ones with strong character. They have "staying power". Jesus did not quit when His circumstances were hard. God wants us to finish the race set before us and finish them with joy.
"Those who do good work of any kind always seem to be seeking that next mountain to climb, the next challenge that takes them to another creative level. But it is crucial to find satisfaction in your work at this time and at this stage of your development. Be gentle and generous with yourself. Give credit where credit is due. Do not let that inner voice of censorship overwhelm you with self-defeating criticism. Be thankful that you have completed the work and then move on. Recognize that this is one step in a long process. You do not stand or fall by one project, one performance, one public appearance. This is not "make or break" - this is a signpost, a landmark on a long journey. If you look at successful people, you'll see that the majority work patiently at what they do over the long term. You'll find that everyone has their ups and downs, but it's the ones who keep going that get somewhere. Trust the process" The Art of Encouragement - Candy Paull
As I've driven down Memorial Road around the Quail Springs Mall area and taken stock of all the chain restaurants that have closed I am enouraged that we have made it six years in this business where most people fail within the first year. I also don't want to take any moment for granted in these hard economic times. I am very thankful to God and to those people who have helped us get this far in our journey. It is the middle ground that we find ourselves in now and it is imperative to keep looking to the future for more good days ahead.
"Do you see what this means - all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running - and never quit!" Hebrews 12:1-2 The Message Bible