In 1901, brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright were discouraged. Struggling to find a way to make heavier-than-air objects fly, they had designed different wings for gliders. Their latest experiment in North Carolina had failed again. On the train back to Ohio, an exasperated Wilbur declared, “Not within a thousand years would man ever fly!”
The brothers must have felt like quitting. Instead, they tried new tactics. They built a miniature wind tunnel with a fan at one end. They experimented at home, compiled data. They discovered errors in earlier calculations. They worked with a mechanic to build a lightweight, four-cylinder engine…
At last, on December 17, 1903, Orville climbed aboard their flying machine and became the first man to fly. That flight lasted only 12 seconds, 120 feet. Later that day, Wilbur took a turn. The man who had complained that mankind might live a thousand years without flying soared for 59 seconds and traveled 852 feet. Through persistence and attention to tiny details, they succeeded! *
How about you? Ever felt tempted to throw in the towel? Maybe your job frustrates you. Maybe you feel like a failure in a personal goal. When discouragement strikes, the temptation to give up grows huge. Haven’t we all been there?
Now, I’m not going to promise you can accomplish anything by sheer effort. If you sing bass, I don’t guarantee you can become a world-class soprano. If you dropped out of school in 3rd grade, chances are you won’t become a brain surgeon.
But even as Orville and Wilbur encouraged each other toward a difficult goal, I’m coming alongside to say, “Don’t abandon your dreams too quickly.” Instead of quitting, maybe you need to change tactics. You might need to study the problem. Or practice. Or to seek advice. But if you evaluate the situation and believe the goal is worthy and reachable, then don’t give up. Press forward. Progress may come in inches, but all progress is progress.
A final thought…
I recall a time when life was crushing me. On my own, I couldn’t survive. If God had taken my life, I would’ve been happy to go. But I clung to Him. He was my Lifeline. Each morning I opened my eyes, read the Bible, and told God I needed His help to go another day. And He helped. I survived. I grew, adapted, and tried new things. The Lord restored my joy.
If you’re at the end of your rope, maybe it’s time to let go of that rope and cling to God instead?
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9, ESV
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28, ESV