the easy road

I was fifteen and I had a dream; to be a part of the famed Blue Valley North Lady Mustang’s basketball team. They had just taken home the state championship the previous year. They were revered. And they were cool. For weeks I practiced my free throws while my brother-in-law rebounded the ball, over and over and over again. Neither of us had access to a gym, so we braved the cold with our hoods up and layers on.

And then the long awaited day came. During lunch I followed the other brave teenage girls who had also tried out. We searched the list posted up on the wall. And there it was – JENILEE JOHNSTON. I swelled with pride. Though it was only the freshman team, I was a Lady Mustang! There were new, pearly white jerseys, basketball shoes that squeaked on the gym floor, taped ankles, and sweat. I couldn’t have been more excited.

I wish I could tell you I set a record for the school, or that season started a four-year high school basketball career for me. But, the truth? The truth is that over time, it just got…old. I got tired of spending the majority of the game on the bench. It wasn’t fun anymore to start practice when darkness still engulfed the morning. So I took the easy road.

I quit. 

It’s always easier to quit. Regardless if it’s basketball, a job, or even a marriage. The grass truly does appear greener on the other side and it’s easier to throw in the towel, than to fight. But, what man ever looks back with pride on the day he quit his marriage? What kid is glad she quit school?

Last year, I went through a rough divorce, and since that time I’ve had three women reach out to me – either because they discovered their husbands had been unfaithful or their husbands simply did not desire to be married anymore. I love that I can tell those women, “I’ve been there“, “No, you’re not crazy“, and “You’re going to make it“. But, why is the growing fad among married couples to simply give up? To quit? Is it just the easy way out?

Jude 1:3 says, “I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith“. Jude wrote to the Christians who felt like giving up on their faith. They were tired of trusting God when all hell was breaking loose. They didn’t feel like going to church when they could use the extra hours of sleep. Jude says, “contend!”. In the Greek it translates, “continue to attack“. I can see Alexander the Great, the man responsible for giving us the ‘common greek’ of the New Testament, shouting at his troops to “continue to attack!” on the battle fields.

Today, don’t take the easy road.

Continue to attack at work. Continue to attack by fighting for your marriage. Don’t give up.

I often wonder about the Lady Mustangs. What if I would have never quit? I don’t think I would’ve set any records. But, I sure would’ve been proud for sticking with it. For fighting through.

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