Monday, January 7, 2013

I just want to quit

I've wanted to quit fundraising a bunch of times. Here's a story about the first time.

When I first started fundraising I somehow got the idea in my head that I'd do well at it. I enjoyed meeting new people. I could tell a good story. I rarely worried about money.

That attitude lasted about two months.

Seemingly without warning, I suddenly found myself against a wall. Despite lots of appointments and church speaking opportunities, the support barely came in. People just weren't giving and my list of new contacts shrank down to nearly no one.

So I tried re-reading How to Win Friends and Influence People. I tried contacting everyone I knew about potential referrals. I even tried improving my presentation book and printing it on nicer paper.

I tried just about everything I could think of so as to not need Jesus.

Finally, as I drove home after a particularly discouraging appointment one night, I called out to God in desperation. Through tears I told Him that I couldn't do it anymore. "I just want to quit," I whispered into the dark.

It was at that moment the Holy Spirit convicted me with this question: "Quit what, exactly?"

I thought the answer would be, "I want to quit fundraising!" Instead, I realized that the answer was really, "I want to quit trying to do this myself."

A wave of Scripture washed over me - and with it, a wave of peace. The verse that gave me the most clarity came from James:
"God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." (James 4:6 ESV)
For months my pride resulted not only in forfeiture of God's rich, limitless grace but also in the sovereign God of the universe purposefully and personally opposing me. No wonder I wasn't making any headway!

To be clear, my fundraising didn't immediately turn around the next day - but my attitude did. And even more importantly, God's attitude toward me did. In His mercy and wisdom He had been withholding blessing, and then in His mercy and wisdom He gave it freely again.

Your story won't be the same as mine, but your Savior already is. So the next time you feel like quitting, turn to Him.

It may be you want to quit the wrong thing.