Get Skippy With It

Rocky Balboa IIA few weeks ago I decided to quit.

Quit writing. Quit involvement in some commitments once completed. Quit expecting some things to work out the way I’d prefer as they drag on and on. Quit with unappreciative people…

Then I took a deep breath and a smack upside the heart and realized what I really needed to quit was my whining, arguing and recent penchant for cynicism. (Being cynical stinks, by the way).

When I charted my own course of transition several years back, everything was new and shiny, exciting and full of potential. It was my long-awaited time to get skippy with it. I was pumped.

Now in my fifth year of working in Shammah Ministries and my husband soon completing twelve years with Shammahs Field, the grass in our ‘field’ still needs mowing, fertilizing, watering and weeding if it’s going to remain green and life-giving. It’s what we tell our clients, and we are made of no different dirt than they are. We’ve been at it for years as we both had long-term careers before the Lord ever captured us as Mr. and Mrs. Shammah. Our clients get tired. And so do we.

A few months ago my spouse was in the same boat I was in a few weeks ago. He too was on the edge of quitting. All we could say when comparing notes was, “It’s a good thing we weren’t paddling that canoe at the same time!” We’d have capsized.

Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor.
For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10a NASB

Ah, blessed Ecclesiastes truth. Yep, that one you just read. We put that one to the test. The outcome is that neither of us quit (though I wondered out loud about applying at the new Trader Joe’s while Wayne decided the antidote to quitting was to go fishing…and came home toting a bucket with four nice trout!) Trout catch II

Our conversation will likely be continued as we enjoy our meal of trout while picking out the bones.

Which isn’t so different from what we do in our counseling and coaching sessions.

At times it requires identifying and picking out the bones that make you want to quit fishing altogether so you can get to the meat. Then you have the real thing to chew on (complete with nutritional substance) instead of the emotions that are tempting you to elope with them by quitting.

Quitting: a backwards approach to ‘new beginnings’. They’ll be new alright – with the same old feelings.

Where does YOUR inspiration come from?

We are not embarrassed to say ours, in the middle of this dilemma, came in the form of Rocky Balboa. We love the Rocky movies and own the first four on DVD. It had been years though since we had pulled them out and watched them. So like a moth to a flame (or a frustrated duo in a meat packing plant) we embarked on a Rocky marathon over the last several weeks. Just last weekend after spending time praying in our office (the act of picking out the fishing bones and getting to the meat), we went home with snot noses and lighter spirits to finish up with Rocky IV.

We have to admit, Sylvester Stallone is pretty impressive in the many reprisals of his Rocky role. He no doubt has inspired many to exercise. However, this marathon round it was his spirit, down-to-earth manner, realness and yes, his deciding to quit that was inspiring to us … we could identify with all of it.

There were several stirring scenes, but two stood out with this season we’re in. The first was of Rocky battling his way back while skipping rope – from lethargic stumbling and getting tripped up in the jump rope to jumping with an other-world rhythm, grace and speed that was testament to his readiness to re-engage his opponent in the ring.

The other scene that deeply moved us was from Rocky IV when Adrian (his wife) asked to talk to him apart from Rocky’s trainer as they stood on the beach. Sometimes Hollywood* gets the speech right.

Like Rocky, deep down my husband and I both knew we could not and would not quit. Why?

Because for decades now we have crawled and climbed our way back to the sure footing of our Rock when the temptation to quit has nearly overwhelmed us. Time and again it would have been easy to walk away – from jobs, relationships, duty, responsibility… but never from the Lord.

He did not quit on His journey, nor will we. However, it’s only because of Him that we do not faint away.

Why do you say…”My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God”?
Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:27-31 NASB

We are committed to changing things up in response to Him and even now are listening attentively to His voice.

He’s whispering, “It’s time to get skippy with it!”

~ Nancy

Our office may not look like a gym but we have access to spiritual jump ropes if you have an urge to get skippy with it, too. We’re a contact away. 

*In fact, Sylvester Stallone wrote and directed each of the Rocky films; there is a fine heart in that man. May the Lord bless him for his sensitive spirit.

photo credit: Balboa via photopin (license)

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