Should I Be A Quitter?

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?

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5 thoughts on “Should I Be A Quitter?

  1. Peace. For me when I have a difficult decision to make, I think about both options, one at a time and see which one God is giving me peace about. I have no doubt you can recall any number of scriptures on the peace He gives us, not to live in anxiety, but to cast our cares upon Him and He will give us peace. I’ve never made the wrong decision when I go in the direction of God’s peace. Sometimes we have to stop over-analyzing, over thinking, and seek His peace. Not that you would ever do that…. 😉

  2. Amy, thanks so much for your input! I’m very aware of the “peace test,” and it has worked well for me for many years. The problem is that feelings aren’t helping here. Neither option passes the test–I feel agitated either way.

    Plus, I can’t just quit now and change my mind later. Re-joining would require months of time and effort, and a significant financial investment.

  3. If you are not content with the results of your involvment, you can not use your full potential to give, assist, learn or teach. God wants us to be able to give our full potential. He knows that you will do something, somewhere else, just as marvelous, for Him. Perhaps He has something waiting already, but you can not start until you have tied up this end.

  4. Make sure thinking of leaving doesn’t make you feel like you are running. That you wouldn’t feel like God would be disappointed. And be careful about seeking peace, is peace what Jesus felt when He knew God wanted Him to go to the cross? It might end up being one of those decisions God just wants you to make. Those can be so frustrating, I would love a few postcards, too!

  5. Pingback: Looking for a Sign — Compost

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