I was fifteen and a freshman in high school facing my third two hour football practice of the day. They were called “three a days” and they lasted for about four weeks during the summer until school started. They were Hell! My coach at the time told me if I worked hard he felt I could start varsity as a freshman. I didn’t really know what that meant but it sounded cool. On this particular day the coach decided we were going to run hills. And when he said, “run hills”, he meant until teammates gave up. It seemed like it took forever, however one by one, fellow teammates began to say it wasn’t worth it. I remembered in the back of my mind what the coach said about working hard. It kept me going. At the end of our hills and subsequent practice I was the last running back standing. The coach looked at me and said, “The job is yours.”
This past week while reading “the dip” A Little Book That Teaches You When To Quit (And When To Stick), I was struck by the simplicity of the dip in the early years, and the complexity of the dip in later years. More particularly, when do you risk big, make a change or simply push through. Though I have only read this book recently, this is a concept I have followed all my life.
The Early Years… In the early years it all seemed so simple. When better offers came along, I simply took them. When the task or the work place seemed to becoming a cul-de-sac I simply moved on. Whether it was health care positions or ministry, I fielded both the same way. Yet, as I reflect on those days I had very little responsibility outside of myself. For the most part, the only one affected by my pressing and strategic quitting was myself. Though it seemed big at the time, it really didn’t take much faith.
The Later Years… During my later years, I still embrace the concept of the dip. But now, wow, there is so much more at stake. Before simply quitting or moving onto what may or may not be a better fit, one has to consider a list of responsibilities. Your spouse, the mortgage, the kids, their friends, aging parents, what a move means to the whole family and so on. It’s becoming evident that in later years the dip is not always as easy to maneuver. It takes a lot of faith.
Increased Faith… What happens when you are really good at something, you also get paid well to do it, but it is not you. Well, obviously you press towards what you love, and releasing the very things you don’t. Yet in these later years filled with much responsibility it takes great faith. Faith that when you jump, God is actually going to show up. Faith that releasing a good salary will not end in bankruptcy. Faith that God delights in you being able to serve him from the very passions He has placed in you.
How is your “Dip”? Are you embracing it?
Is it time to quit or press?
How is your faith?