Monday, February 22, 2010

Never Give Up Attitude

Women of Faith:

As I watch the Olympics, I am reminded of an important value that the winning athletes have in common: A Never Give up Attitude.

Story after story is told about horrendous accidents and physical challenges which have been overcome so the athlete can compete at the Olympic games.

The athletes are focused, motivated and dedicated to meet a goal and they DON’T GIVE UP, they reach to achieve a gold medal.

So do we have a “Never Give up Attitude?” What is the “gold medal” of my life? Is my motivation wealth, success, happiness, or a pain free life? Or is my “motivation” to be with God in heaven? Like an athlete am I willing to give up everything? Am I willing to work my hardest, to suffer, so that I can reach my ultimate goal--HEAVEN?

Jesus was the ultimate Olympian, he never surrendered to the devil, and he received not a gold medal, but a crown of thorns, and sacrificed until the end for my salvation. Who today, gives me an "Olympian" example of “never giving up for God?” Who is working for the same goal as I am? Who are the most suffering, the most wronged, the modern day Jobs’?

I see the attitude I strive for in widows who continue to teach their faith to their children while living without the love of their lives; in the students and family of Ed Thomas who have taken the time to talk about forgiveness and faith; in those suffering with cancer, like Faye, giving glory to God, finding blessings in suffering and offering inspiration; in spouses who stay honorable in a less than perfect marriage; in parents of rebellious teenagers; and in friends who forgive repeatedly and yet remain faithful in a relationship and in their relationship with God.

It is pretty easy to “see” what all of these “heroes” have in common. They have put God “squarely” in the center of their lives! Heaven is their Goal! They are motivated and dedicated with the “never give up attitude,” to live life as Jesus showed us by his own example in these 40 days of Lent. Jesus taught us to suffer and accept injustices, and to unselfishly give our lives for others. These everyday heroes don’t let hardships and burdens stand in the way of their goal to be with God.

It takes dedication and commitment to have a “never give up attitude.” It takes suffering and hard work. It may mean living with a partner who is less than attentive, or just oblivious to our needs. It may mean loving a child who is testing authority. It may mean forgiving a spouse or friend for a lie, an affair, disrespect, gossip, or any other number of wrongs. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

And Winston Churchill said it this way, “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” (The temptation of the devil.)

And what will help me get thru the difficulties? How do I develop a “never give up attitude?”

In this Lenten season, similarly to those “New Year’s resolutions, we try to focus on doing things that will make us better, more in God’s grace. We fast, we forgive, we pray, we deny ourselves. But what happens the first time we break our “goal,” give in to temptation, miss mass, and complain about our suffering. Do we say, I can’t do it, I messed up, why bother? Or do we remember that God never gives up on us AND we shouldn’t give up on Him. Do we start over, try again, remain faithful, pray a little harder, use our “never give up attitude” to work for God?

Do we let God have control, guide us, strengthen us, give us Hope? Do we strive for the Tridium of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday; the Eucharist, the Cross, and the Truth of the Gospel? Do we get strength by attending mass and being fed His body and blood; by looking at the cross and being reminded of Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice, so that we can accept our own sufferings and ask forgiveness for our failings; and by reading the Gospel to better understand the truth?

Dear God, Send your Holy Spirit to make me a warrior of prayer, so that I may be strengthened by the knowledge of your Truth. Help me to forgive those who have caused me to suffer. Thank you for putting “Olympians” of faith into my life. When I stumble and fall, when I fail, when I am ready to quit, remind me of the cross, of your hope, your grace, your forgiveness, and your love. Help me to achieve my heavenly goal with a “never surrender, never give up attitude.”

Blessings in this Lenten Season

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