Recently we were in a barbeque joint in Deerfield Beach that was filled with all kinds of interesting, funny and motivational signs. As we were reading the various quotes while waiting for our food to arrive, I noticed one that really spoke to me and snapped a picture of it.
“When you feel like quitting, remember why you started.”
That advice really resonates with me this week as Norma Jean and I are attending the Florida College lectures.
When I came to this little school on the banks of the Hillsborough River in the Fall of 1966, I enrolled with one major goal one in mind–to prepare myself to preach the gospel of Christ. I was a Bible major. In the 3 years I attended FC, I took all the Bible courses I could. I learned from great and godly men like Homer Hailey, Clinton Hamilton, James Cope, Melvin Curry, E. V. Srygley, Harry Payne, Bob Owen, and Roy Cogdill.
When I return here, I remember why I came here. Why I started. Why I studied. Why I preach.
I also remember the sacrifices my parents made to provide me a quality education. And I remember their concern that I live right. And become a man who loved and served the Lord.
It was on the Florida College campus that Norma Jean and I met. I remember seeing this beautiful girl on campus who I was afraid to ask out until I received some encouragement from my friend Mike Grushon. I remember our first date. And our early days of building a relationship.
I remember the moonlit night on Clearwater Beach that I asked her to marry me. I remember the excitement of sharing the news with our parents and our friends.
I remember Clinton Hamilton performing our wedding ceremony. And the vows that we took before God “until death do us part.”
In the past 50 years, there have been some turbulent times in our ministry, our marriage, and living the Christian life. But we’re still together, preaching the gospel and serving the Lord. Our love for each other and for the Lord has grown richer, fuller and deeper.
We remember why we started.
While focusing on the future is important and not living in the past must be avoided, it’s good to spend some time remembering. Remember your roots. Remember your values. And remember why you started.
We live in a culture where it’s easy to quit. People quit jobs. Quit marriages. Quit churches. And quit the Lord. The Bible warns us against quitting and admonishes us to remember.
Several times in Moses’ farewell speech to Israel as they were standing on the brink of the promised land he exhorted them to “remember.” Remember where they came from as slaves in Egypt. Remember God’s providential care in their wildernesses wanderings. Remember God’s blessings. And remember His law.
Remembering is also a constant theme of the Psalmist. He often writes about remembering God’s goodness, tender mercies, and loving kindness. And remembering His wondrous works. (PS 63:5; 25:6-7; 105:5;143:50).
In both of Peter’s epistles, he not only wrote to remind his readers of things they knew, but to stir up their minds so they would remember the precious nature of their faith long after he was gone. (2 Pet. 1:12-15)
American author, Richard Bach was right, “Some choices we live not only once but a thousand times over, remembering them for the rest of our lives.”
When we remember the right things for the right reasons it helps us avoid mistakes of the past, live passionately in the present, and confidently anticipate the future.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman