To quit or not to quit? I’ve been wavering between these two options for six months now, and I’m nowhere closer to a decision than I was last fall.
Without going into too much detail, here’s the situation. A decade ago, God led me to get involved with a wonderful group of people. I’ve been very committed over the years, spending a great deal of time and energy. As a result, I’ve contributed to a worthwhile cause, developed new skills and much-needed confidence, and seen relationships blossom. God has definitely used my involvement to both help others and to teach me and lead me in new directions.
Now, however, the situation has changed. Things aren’t so great. In fact, it’s so bad that we’ve lost close to half the volunteers we had a couple of years ago—over 50 people. No one wants to gossip (which I find both unusual and commendable!), but it’s pretty clear why people are leaving. They’re leaving for the same reason I want to leave. My question is, what does God want me to do?
The problem is that I can make good arguments supporting either viewpoint.
On the one hand, I’ve added plenty of other commitments in the last ten years. My elderly dad now frequently needs my assistance with day-to-day life. I started birding, and am now newsletter editor and webmaster (and on the board) of our local Audubon chapter. I began a new business, Mountain Plover, which needs a lot more time and attention to really thrive. I’ve gotten serious about my photography, and the more I practice, the better I get. Plus, if I want to make friends at church, I’m going to have to invest significant amounts of time and effort there.
Plus, I can certainly continue the friendships I’ve made in this group. (Of course, I’ll have to be more intentional about keeping in touch; we won’t just run into one another all the time.)
When I was in college in northern California, we had a saying: “Just because God puts you on I-5, that doesn’t necessarily mean He wants you in L.A.” In other words, just because God starts you off in a particular direction, that doesn’t mean He wants you to keep going that way forever. You might need to make a turn along the way. Or not.
So, just because God led me to get involved in one thing ten years ago, that doesn’t mean I have to stick to it until I die. Maybe it’s time to change my focus.
And then there’s the feeling that “life’s too short.” Why put up with an unpleasant situation when I don’t have to?
On the other hand, I don’t want to miss what God would teach me through staying. I don’t see difficult circumstances as reason enough to quit. Perhaps I’m needed there to be salt and light in a bad situation. Perhaps my (hopefully!) godly response can be an encouragement and a witness to God’s life in me.
And, I’m pretty good at what I do there. I’m still making a positive contribution to the community—one of the reasons I got involved in the first place.
So… I’d like a postcard, please, God. All you need to write is “stay” or “leave” and drop it in the mail. Just don’t leave it up to me. I don’t feel qualified for making this kind of decision!
Have you struggled with knowing God’s will in a given situation? How did God speak to you? What did you end up doing?