Ed, my neighbor next door, says he may as well go travelling to Ottawa as go out to his farm this summer. He said this when he heard we were leaving for Ottawa. He feels I should not leave until I get the exterior of my house painted. I told him my enthusiasm for painting has vanished. The wet weather has rotted my will to paint. Surprisingly, he said he was having the same problem with doing his farm work. Both of us are usually pretty focused on doing what we have started, but this June weather has wilted us both into listless labourers.
Will my willingness to paint the house return? I have given myself until August to get my gumption up for finishing my painting job. If I'm still unmotivated by August, I'll have to think about hiring it done and that will send me up the ladder in a hurry. Spending money on something I could do myself will crack my resistance pretty quickly.
Some things we do give us a sense of joy and satisfaction. Without those two elements it is hard to keep going. Unfortunately, the challenge is having enough gumption to keep at when we are running on empty. Sometimes we are even worse off than empty. Everyone hits the "Job" times. Job was a man in the Bible whose life went from good to bad and kept getting worse. Job's good life fell apart when his sons and daughters were killed, his possessions were stolen, and his health turned into painful sores and suffering. Job's wife wanted him to curse God and die. Job refused and questioned, "Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?"
The book of Job wrestles with the unanswerable question of why bad things happen to good people. Job acknowledges both good and bad things happen to us, but in both we praise and honour God. Those who are suffering may want to blame their trouble on someone or something to make some sense out of what has happened. God comes under fire because as one omnipotent, almighty, or all-powerful it seems the Lord should prevent all evil from happening to us. Job has hit the nail on the head for we do not question the good things that happen to us, but we sure do demand an answer when bad things come our way.
Job waited on God in his pain and loss. He had the gumption to endure trouble that gave him no joy or satisfaction. He waited on God to turn his trouble into blessing if God should choose to. Job seems to have understood that with God all things are possible. What is awful dust and ashes in our life today can become sweeter than honey with God tomorrow. The question is, do we have enough gumption to keep going and not lose heart? Giving up and running out of enthusiasm is an inside job. It is a test of our faith in God to keep going when our gumption is gone. Life has its stretches that are like boating through rapids. You just have to keep paddling until you reach calmer water knowing your boat is your life line. God is the boat that carries us in the rough waters of life. In some stretches of life, one has to just stay in the boat and keep paddling. Joy and satisfaction are not a guaranteed part of every stretch of our lives until we reach heaven.