I will not give up. I will not give up. A little boy at York Academy of Discovery sat quietly, following a booklet of Lego instructions as he built a Lego vehicle (a street sweeper). I was amazed at how well he was doing: looking at each page, following the diagrams on each picture, building on his own. I told him if he needed any assistance, I would be happy to help. He said that he wanted to put it together all by himself. I walked the room, observing the children as they played. I heard the little boy quietly say, “I will not give up. I will not give up.” And that sweet boy continued to construct and did not give up. He was still working when his mom arrived to take him home. He only had a few steps left. So, we marked his page and he took it home. His mom later sent me a picture of the completed vehicle which he finished on his own. He had not given up. His smiling face was next to the vehicle he had constructed. It was a proud picture of accomplishment!
It’s not easy to keep going when things get tough, when things are hard. It’s easy to become frustrated. It’s easy to give in. It’s easy to quit. I loved the self-talk that took place that afternoon – “I will not give up.” We made a big deal of the fact that he kept trying. He was motivated, motivated to accomplish that task. No one told him he had to build it, no one told him he needed to do it on his own. He made the decision to build that vehicle following a set of instructions. That little boy saw it through to completion telling himself not to give up. I loved it!
We had talked about persistence, frustration, and about not giving up. This was the kind of experience you dream of as a teacher, being able to witness an outcome of your teaching. My heart was full as I left for home that afternoon.
Later as I thought about that experience, I told myself – now if YOU could only do the same. When you are down, ready to quit – try saying, “I will not give up.” Continue through the struggle. Practice what you preach. Say it again, “I will not give up.” Keep going, there’s only a few more steps. You got this. Even if you fail, it is about the journey and the discoveries you make along the way. Remember – “I will not give up.” This is so hard you all. So hard. So hard to keep going when you can’t see the future. So hard to keep going when it all seems in vain. So hard to keep going when it looks like failure. So hard. So hard. “I will not give up.” Come on, just a few more steps. “I will not give up.”
My mind shifts to my Savior, sent on a mission. He prays for the Father’s will to be done. The pain He experiences, emotionally and physically to complete the journey – who else could endure it? I read his loving words to the people. I hear his anguish in the garden of Gethsemane. He does not defend himself to Pontius Pilate. Jesus continues the journey. He does not give up even through temptation. Jesus hangs on the cross, forgiving others for they know not what they do. He experiences the ultimate pain – “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Jesus completed the task, saving all mankind. What a difficult journey, but what a victory. His victory becomes our victory. He did not give up.
Say it, I will not give up,