Giving Up Shouldn’t Be Your First Choice

Published 10:00 am Thursday, May 5, 2022

Several years ago a friend gave me a garden tiller that had been out of operation for some time. I did not know if the thing would even run but since it was free I brought it to the house. It was obvious that the engine had seen some better days, yet when I yanked the rope a few times it fired up and ran pretty good. Even though it smoked a little, I was pleased with the work it did, however, success was short lived and it was not long before it would no longer start. I finally wrapped it up in a tarp and put it aside until I could dispose of it. Then a few weeks ago I wondered if the machine might be worth fixing so I inquired about it with someone who is well versed in small engine repair. He gave me some guidance and I pursued his suggestion of purchasing a new engine. I knew that was a bit of a chance since there could be other issues that I was not aware of. Nevertheless, I chose to do some searching until I came up with a solution that could potentially work and would not cost enough to put me in the doghouse if it didn’t.

I bought a new engine and, to my delight, it fit just fine and had a treaded hole to accommodate all the parts that needed to be attached to it. When I got everything installed and fired up all six point five horses of brand new power it hummed like a new sewing machine! Except there was another problem–during the extended time that the tiller sat idle the drive cable seized up, which meant that even though the engine ran perfectly I could not give it a field trial to see if it would plow. But there was no need to worry. I simply went to a local mower shop to get a new cable–only to get the disappointing news that they did not have one and they were not sure they could get one since it was for an old unit that is no longer in production. Thankfully they found the part to be available; the bad news was that it would be some time before it would be delivered. That meant that I could not test to see if my decision to fix the old tiller was worthwhile.

Patience is not one of my greatest qualities, but rigging things up to make them work is. That got my mental gears to turning to figure out how I could solve my dilemma and it was not long before I devised a plan. I went to work, chopping off the rusty end of the cable, pulling the inner cable out of the tubing, cleaning it up and reinserting the inner cable. It moved freely as it was supposed to, only it was now way too short to attach to the control handle, which was no surprise and I had a plan for that too: I attached a piece of wire to the cable to make up the difference. When I put everything together, it was time for the test. After a few adjustments it worked like a charm! I’m still waiting on the new part to get here, but I am enjoying the product of my patching and rigging until it arrives. I suppose those days in my youth on the farm using old rusty equipment that frequently broke down taught me a few life lessons, two of which are: think it through and don’t give up too quickly.

Life is filled with challenges that tempt us to give up and walk away from it all. Yet I wonder how often we miss out on blessings that God intended for us when we do? A far better choice is to follow His guidance and allow Him to produce the results of His choosing in the time and way that He desires. Romans 12:12 delivers volumes with just a few short words: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (New International Version).