The word for this week’s Five Minute Friday free-write is “try.” (Click on the image above to find some other great posts in the linkup too.) Here goes:
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” That quote is what first comes to mind when I see this word. But what about when it is time to stop and re-evaluate?
After all, that quote has spawned numerous counter quotes, like this one from W.C. Fields, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it,” or this one from William Lyon Phelps, “If at first you don’t succeed, find out if the loser gets anything.”
As a Christian, I think the word, “try” is closely tied in with the word, “trust.” For example, as we “try, try again” we should ask ourselves if this trying is being done under our own strength or if it is based on prayerful leading from the Holy Spirit? There is no one size fits all answer to this and I believe we need to look at each situation on a case by case basis.
Another Christian cliché is that if something doesn’t work out then “God has closed that door.” But is that always the case? Sometimes we do need to keep trying if we are trusting that God is leading us in that direction. But sometimes we don’t need to keep trying because it is a case of charging on ahead under our own strength and expecting God to bless our efforts after the fact.
Therefore, if we are going to keep trying then we need to make sure we are trusting that we are following God’s leading in it all and not our own. Sometimes He might be telling us to stop, sometimes He may tell us to wait, but sometimes He does tell us to “try, try again.” But how do we tell the difference?
I love how this question is answered in the following section from Proverbs 3:5-12 in The Message,
“Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.”
So, if you are going to keep TRYING then make sure you are also TRUSTING!