The Temptations of a Very Long Journey: Giving Up
Every now and then on a very long journey, one comes to a viewpoint. And gasps. The road rolls before one, endless. It seems so much simpler to turn back. And it is. It is.
In every important enterprise of my life, I have reached this point. At various points of discouragement, in my twenties, thirties, and now in my forties, I have wondered if I should give up writing. When Jesus asked Peter if he too would leave him, Peter answered, “Lord, to whom should I go?” I feel like that with my writing. What would I do if I were not writing? I am as hard-wired to write as a bird to sing.
Last year, I decided I was going to gain proficiency in French. Why? Because I love languages in general, and French in particular. I have tried to learn French in the Alliance Francaise of Oxford. But there is a continual turn-over of teachers and pupils, and I keep being moved up one group before I have completed all the lessons in the previous stage. It’s never good to have shaky foundations. I have just been moved up again, and less fluent than the two others. Do I give up, or work on my own to catch up?
Is the prize, fluency in another language, worth it? Yes, it is. And so I will continue. (And it may prevent middle-aged deterioration of brain cells, not that I ever give my overworked brain cells time enough to rest or rust.)
And being a Christian? I have fleetingly thought of abandoning that. But then, I say with Simon Peter. “To whom should I go? You have the words of eternal life!!”