Sometimes you just have to quit. Enough. Done. No more. However, that attitude does not necessarily mean that one is lazy or incompetent. It is simply the recognition that there is always more than one can accomplish and you have to establish a reasonable stopping place.

I am not encouraging people to be quitters. There are times when the work has to be finished. No suggestion that it is alright to be a slacker. Deadlines must be met but there is a need to maintain a balance between commitment and common sense. Some things can wait. Everything does not always have to be done NOW.

Blue Work Harder Neon Sign

I have the tendency to be a workaholic. My natural inclination is to work until the job is done. Keep your nose to the grind. One much wiser than I suggested that it is important to seize the day (Luke 9:62) but there are limits to staying focused on the task at hand.

There is a bit of a perfectionist disposition evident in my approach to a task. I believe that anything worth doing is worth doing well. I agree with the Apostle Paul who admonished folks to do everything in such a way that God would be honored (I Corinthians 10:31). However, that does not necessarily mean “working your fingers to the bone” is the only way to be faithful in a task.

There's a way to do it better - find it. - Thomas A. Edison

Sometimes you find a way to work smarter, not harder. And sometimes you just quit. Perhaps the task does not need to be completed, at least not at the moment. Perhaps you simply need a break. Then you can return to finish the work.

lenas-garden-1

I was reminded of this principle last week while I was doing some yard work. My wife is a Master Gardener and maintains a beautiful flower garden. She works hard at it and I pitch in a little by cutting the grass, trimming the shrubs, and occasionally digging a hole or two.

The few days of spring-like weather recently has brought out the daffodils and the trees are beginning to bloom. The roses that were cut back last fall are showing signs of new growth and you can see subtle signs of green in the dormant brown Bermuda grass lawn. So I decided to do my little bit in the seasonal transition.

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I trimmed the rose over the arbor in the backyard. The ivy coming over the wall had sent out long runners that needed to be cut back. It was a good time to fertilize the trees and shrubs. The grass needed to be raked to clean up the trash and leaves from the winter. One task led to another. What started out as a few minutes of work turned into more than I had planned.

Thomas Edison said, “The three great essentials to achieve anything worth while are: Hard work, Stick-to-itiveness, and Common sense.”

Finally I decided I had done enough. At least for the moment. Everything else could wait until another day. Sometimes you just need to quit. The trick is to know when.

Jamie Jenkins

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