"There's only one thing that can guarantee our failure, and that's if we quit.” - Craig Breedlove
So, you've decided that since nothing is happening with your music, ministry, or talents that you should just hang it up. Go do something else. Maybe this music thing is just not for you.
No one is knocking at your door or the phone isn't ringing with requests for what you do. Nothing has really happened as you have tried to get out there. Sales are low, or nonexistent.
So, you've come to the logical conclusion that God is trying to tell you to quit doing this.
Really? Is that how you think God works? Is that how He worked in the Bible?
Abraham knew he was old to have children, and that Sarah couldn't physically. But God didn't say, "You know, forget it you geezers. You really are too old for kids." Instead God said to Abraham, "Look up at the sky and count the stars – if indeed you can count them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be."
Or when Paul was in the boat during the great storm and the men thought all was lost, God didn't send an angel to Paul saying "I'd hit the lifeboats!" He instead told Paul to hold on.
God does not suggest quitting. If anything, He tells us to endure, and for a quite interesting reason.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." - Hebrews 12:1
What I love about this verse is the first part. We are surrounded by people watching us and what we will do. If you have set an example to those around you that you are working to use the talents God has given you, and then give up, what kind of precedent are you setting? And not just for family or friends, but what about total strangers and acquaintances that are watching what a "Christian" does to see if they want to emulate that life?
When you think about it, Abraham and Paul were showing an example of faith by not giving up. We have to as well.
In the music world I live in, I get to work with many talented folks. But I would say they are successful for a reason that goes beyond their talent: They didn't quit. When it didn't make much money, they fought through the lean times. When it didn't bring fame, they woodshedded on it privately. When it didn't seem like there was any future in it, they kept at it anyway.
Many times people call me up and ask if I'm "still doing the music thing". I say yes, and sometimes that turns into paying work. I get paid to do this thing I love simply because I STILL do it.
I’ve also worked with many artists over the years, and some will work at it and stay with it, and some won’t. Early on clients will ask me why this artists is doing so well, and why some other artist isn’t (or has quit). There are a few answers to this. But mostly, the artists who found success simply stayed with it.
“I'm interested in that thing that happens where there's a breaking point for some people and not for others. You go through such hardship, things that are almost impossibly difficult, and there's no sign that it's going to get any better, and that's the point when people quit. But some don't.” - Robert Redford
There’s no real equation to it, and in fact it may be something personality driven and having very little to do with talent. In fact sometimes just keeping at it, continuing to learn and grow, can be the very difference between working hard AT it and finding success working IN it.
“A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.” - Richard Bach
Lastly, let me say this. If you have heard a little voice in your ear saying it’s time to quit, don’t come to me and say God is telling you to quit. God does not whisper and tell us to quit, but to endure and run the race.
Enjoy your beautiful craft in whatever way you do it, however it serves God, and whenever inspiration strikes. Here’s something you CAN quit: all this talk of giving up.
“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” – Ella Fitzgerald
Have a great week!
Eric Copeland is writing all this because he didn’t quit when Nashville and others in the music business told him he didn’t have what they were looking for. And so, he built his own music business, and it’s turned out to be the new and likely future model for artists and songwriters just like you. For more info check out http://www.CreativeSoulOnline.com