Knowing When to Call it Quits
I have a friend who served as a very successful pastor of a relatively large Presbyterian Church. My friend served in this church upwards of 10 years, and offered the church great leadership, and provided a national platform for all kinds of innovations and reforms. At a relatively early age, his early 50's my friend announced to his congregation that he has decided to retire, and make room for another pastor. The congregation were aghast. How could a person leave his position at such a crucial and critical time of growth and leadership? "Simple," my friend retorted, "I just feel like it's time to...Call it Quits."
On the completely other hand, I know of a business executive who has been CEO of his corporation for about 20 years. This businessman's career trajectory models and reflects the recent ups and downs of the stock market. At the beginning of this person's career, his gains were very high. And then, the trajectory of growth declined significantly. For the past 10 years there has been no growth in his corporation at all. One might argue that this person did not;
Know When to Call it Quits
The Bible is clear about the fact that there is a beginning point for all things and an ending point. "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven...a time to keep, and a time to throw away" (Ecclesiastes 3:1-6). Usually the people around us are better at knowing what life stage we are in than we are. It is usually obvious to everyone but ourselves that our time in a given thing has come to an end. It is up to us to have the courage and wisdom to discern that moment correctly with God.
All of us will someday reach a juncture in our careers, in our parenting, in a large project that we are taking on that we will need to have wisdom about when to begin and when to end. When we are not functioning at a level that we would like to, we should know when to call it quits. When our kids have left home, we reach a juncture of parenting when we need to know when to call that stage of life parenting quits. When we come to end of a big project, we must have the wisdom to know when to end.
So, here's to Pope Benedict, who has shown the rest of the world that sometimes it is wiser to quit than to keep on going.
All For Now,