Sometimes things just don’t work out the way we hoped. Finances are low, family is fighting or grumpy, and our efforts at improving our situation are not succeeding. We go to the postbox hoping to get a letter with good news, or a check, or notification that we’ve won one of the hundreds of competitions that we’ve entered, and there’s only bills. A big one from the vet too, for that thing that our dog spotty came down with last week.

Disappointment can be hard to cope with at times, especially when it has been ongoing for months or years, or even decades. I know how it feels. It saps our energy, making it hard to try again. We kind of think “What’s the use? I’m going to fail again anyway..” Don’t think that! Never give up!

There’s an old joke about these people that tried to make a new type of soft drink that would make them rich. They called it one-up, and it was a disaster. Nobody liked it. So they tried with a new product called two-up. It too, failed dismally. So they tried again, and again. Finally, after their last product, 6-up failed. They gave up. If only they had known how close they were! Kinda lame joke, but the principle is true, that we often give up when we are really close to success.

Winston Churchill was once asked to speak at a graduation ceremony. After all the preliminary speeches, he was introduced grandly. He stood up, went to the podium, and said “Never give up.” Then he sat down. After a pause he got up again, and said “Never, ever give up.” and he sat down again. After another pause he got up again and boomed “Never, ever, ever give up!” That was his entire speech; it was the entirity of what he thought was the most important thing to tell all these very clever young people. And it is wisdom.

Another way of looking at it is dis-appointment is His-appointment, meaning that God is in control of all circumsatnces and events, and whatever disappointment you may suffer is all part of God’s plan; maybe He is trying to teach you patience, or humility (something no one likes to learn!) or maybe He has something better or different planned for you.

So how best can we cope with disappointment? Try some of these ideas:

1. Whatever you’ve been striving at, take a break from it. Relax, and turn your attention to something completely different for awhile, before returning to your project. This is not giving up, but rather giving your mind and emotions a chance to take a “deep breath.” It gives inspiration a chance to kick in again.

2. Check carefully whether what you are trying to do is good and ethical. If it’s not, it may be that God is blocking you for your own good.

3. Ask someone you trust whether your expectations are too high. As an example, if you’re 3 foot 4 inches tall and you want to be a basketball star, maybe it’s out of your reach.

4. Consciously and decisively think of all the good things you have in life, like 2 legs, air to breathe, sky above your head, family, friends, a job, whatever good things are in your life: remember them and be thankful for these things.

5. Remember all the millions of people that are in the same boat as you. Many people, including myself, also have to deal with these same things. You are not alone! We suffer, but we suffer together. And a burden shared is a burden halved. So be encouraged!

6. And lastly, don’t give up! Get up, and try again! Success is all about overcoming failure. Apparently Thomas Edison tried some ridiculous number of times, something like 600 hundred times, to invent the light globe, and yet he finally succeeded, through pure perseverance.

So let us do like wise. I wish you all God’s blessings, and I hope that you will finally succeed and achieve your dreams.

Never, ever, Ever give up!

Duncan, Kelly