No Guarantees

 

Quitters never win, and winners never quit.

That's the way it is. Without persistence, we are guaranteed to fail. The reverse, however, isn't necessarily true. Sometimes we persist, we finish the race, and yet we don't get the prize. This can be a hard nut to swallow.

I love the verse in Ecclesiastes that says, "The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong... but time and chance happen to them all." (Eccles. 9:11) Why do I love this saying? Because it give us a much needed reminder that things don't always work out. That's reality.

For example, there are no guarantees that if I say all the right things I will "close the deal" in business. Or get the job. Nor am I guaranteed to win the big race at the track meet if I prepare better this year than last. Nor am I guaranteed to become a famous novelist by writing lots of books. In all of these examples there are many factors outside of our control. Illness, strong competition, a death in the family, a car accident, even death - the list of things outside our control is limitless. As we all know, none of us is God. We are finite creatures with limited capabilities.

Nevertheless, there is one thing that is in our control. We can choose to give up, to quit, or we can choose to keep going. The one who quits pursuing his dream is certain never to reach it. The one who keeps going, who persists, will find that his dream inspires and strengthens him. And whether he reaches his dreams or whether he doesn't, he will be an inspiration to others to go after their own dreams.

I will continue to the end and finish the race with my head held high.