In the summer of 2011, I spent the summer in Hawaii and my friend had this bright idea to climb Koko Head, a crater consisting of over 1000 steps to the top (half way through, the steps become a bridge so you’re basically crawling at some points), with the trail becoming so steep, it almost feels like you’re walking at a 45 degree angle. In the beginning, I was excited; the climb seemed relatively doable but by and by… Quite some time passed and I realized I was still climbing and wasn’t anywhere near the top. It was hot, I was sweating, I didn’t have enough water, I’m lazy, just everything seemed to be all bad. I kept questioning why I was even doing this. I wanted to turn around and threatened to numerous times, but instead (and with my friend’s encouragement) I just kept going. Although I didn’t want to be tired, I wanted to reach the top even more. I knew the view would be worth it. And it was. I wanted to be able to say I climbed Koko Head. And I did.
Goals are not easy to accomplish. Jesus’ goal while here on earth was to be offered as the ultimate sacrifice so we could be made right with God. He knew what he would face, but it didn’t make it easy to go through. He cried and went as far as to ask if possible the cup be passed from him (Luke 22:42). But with all of that, he did it anyway! He took the betrayal, he took the mistreatment, he took the beatings, and because he didn’t quit when attaining the goal got difficult, we all have the opportunity to gain eternal life.
In my head, if I have a goal I want to accomplish, then the work ethic should just appear out of thin air. I should want to do everything it takes to accomplish my goal. I should never get tired of working towards my goal. I should always enjoy every step it takes to reach my goal. Lies, all lies. Even when we’re doing what we love and what we want to do, there will be parts of the process we don’t like. Most parents love their children and love being parents, but they’re not necessarily thrilled about cleaning up exploding diarrhea. Grossed out, and perhaps a bit annoyed, they get their baby clean (and anything else that needs cleaning), and kiss their bundle of joy, still grateful they get to be called a parent. Disliking certain parts of the process is not a sign to quit. You get through it and keep going.
Other people may appear to be accomplishing their goals at a faster rate than you are. While climbing Koko Head, there were 7 year olds moving up that crater faster than me and some people passed me a couple of times (I would be lying if I said I didn’t think about tripping a few of them, it was the heat getting to me lol). But I kept going because I had a goal to reach. Their goal was their goal, and my goal was my goal; them accomplishing their goal, had nothing to do with me accomplishing my goal. If anything, it served as motivation. If they could do it, then surely I could too!
You may want to start your own business and every time you turn around something seems to be going wrong. The building didn’t pass inspection, the investor pulled out, the marketing campaign didn’t go as well as planned. It’s always something, but none of those are reasons to quit. You’re trying to go back to school, but the loan money didn’t come through, you didn’t pass the prerequisite class, you didn’t get into the college you set your heart on going to. Keep applying, keep trying.
In this life you may be tired, frustrated, discouraged, disappointed, and a host of other negative emotions. That thing, that goal you are striving for, is worth it. It is worth the sleepless nights, the sweat, the tears, the naysayers, the multiple drafts, the rejection letters, the conference calls. It’s worth all of that! It’s okay to feel however you feel, but you cannot quit.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me