It’s Sunday afternoon, and Tilly and I are staring each other down. Her with her mouth open, trying to bite me. Me, with my hand clutched firmly on her scruff. We have done this over and over. She has already ripped the pants I am wearing with her teeth. Twice. And I have a horrible headache.
I can’t do this, I decide.
And then I consider my options. Am I going to take her back to the breeder? Give her away? Leave her outside to freeze? No. I AM going to do this. But how?
I have said the same thing to myself a hundred times.
It’s 5 a.m., the alarm is buzzing, and I’m still exhausted.
I can’t do this.
My schedule is packed, I am not enjoying a single thing I am running quickly to do. My house is about to be condemned.
I can’t do this.
Or that day three years ago, almost to the day, when I had had enough of surgeries and chemotherapy and hair loss and blood counts, and I almost called the whole thing off.
I didn’t think I could do it.
Tyler Rowan wrote about giving up and carrying on this week in her post, “Crave God, Not Food.” In her journey toward weight loss, she stumbled upon the interesting question of failure. If the weight loss doesn’t happen, has she failed God?

It’s risky to say that my eating (and thus my weight) is tied to my spiritual walk. Because if I fail at getting my eating under control, I am essentially failing God. At least that’s how some people may view it. But I know that I cannot fail God. Whether I have success or not, whether I lose weight or not, whether I learn to manage my anger or not, whether I use swear words or not… I cannot fail Him.

In a week in which I have resorted to thinking “What Would Jesus Do with Tilly?” I needed to hear that I can’t fail. But what does that look like when over and over again I have nearly given up. What does that look like today when the disciplined schedule I had established for myself was abandoned before I ever got out of bed? What does that look like when I shout at my puppy out of anger?
How many times do I have to fail before I actually DO fail God?
“The only way I fail is if I give up,” Tyler says. “If I give up my efforts to know Him better, to understand Him more clearly, to honor Him in more areas of my life – then I will have failed.”
To boil it down to a word: perseverance. If I keep going, if I keep trying, if I keep pressing on, I will not fail God.
And while I struggle to go on, I cling to an even greater promise: God will never fail me.
It is a trustworthy statement:
For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him;
If we endure, we will also reign with Him;
If we deny Him, He also will deny us;
If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.
2 Timothy 2:11-13
Go THERE and then come back HERE again!
Join me for regular jaunts around The High Calling network, randomly visiting fellow bloggers, soaking up their words and ideas, and then coming back here to write about them from my perspective. This is what The High Calling network is all about, after all.

Our site is about casting a vision that is clear enough and inspiring enough that our readers can run with it on their own sites. We then spend the majority of our editorial time listening to them on their sites and helping them shine as writers. We believe in the power of the laity so much that we are relying on them and their audiences to help spread the vision that has been given to us. – Marcus Goodyear, senior editor, thehighcalling.org (from “The Challenge, Strategy, and Execution of Combining Web Properties” by Dan King on churchcrunch.com)

Each Thursday, consider going “There and Back Again” yourself. It’s simple.
1.) Choose another High Calling Blogger to visit. It can be someone you have “met” before, or do what I do, and work your way through the “Member Posts” section of thehighcalling.com to meet someone new.
2.) Visit his blog, digesting the message until it becomes something that you can write about.
3.) Go back to your blog and write about it, being sure to link to the post that gave you the idea so that your readers can visit, too.
4.) Add the button above to your blog so your readers know you are participating in “There and Back Again.”
5.) Go back to the Network blog and leave a comment so your new friend can feel the link love!
6.) Complete the journey by returning here, to Wide Open Spaces, and enter your link so that we all can benefit from the new High Calling connection you have made.