These two words have different meaning depending on how you say them. You have probably said to someone that was bugging you….”Don’t……..Stop!” But what if you said, “Don’t stop”? It totally changes the meaning, doesn’t it?
You have heard people say, “I am going through Hell.” Winston Churchill said, “If you are going through Hell, keep going.” I would add…..”Don’t……Stop!”
In Texas they have a bike ride every year in the middle of August, the hottest time of year in this state. It usually exceeds 100 degrees. The Hotter’N Hell Hundred is an annual bicycle ride in Wichita Falls. It is held each year on the 4th or 5th Saturday in August (always 9 days before Labor Day) and includes professional as well as amateur riders. The professional racers ride a 100-mile road race, as well as time trials. For the amateur riders, there are road routes of 100 miles, 100K, 50 miles, 25 miles, and 10K.
Approximately 10,000 to 14,000 riders participate each year, making the Hotter’N Hell Hundred the largest sanctioned century bicycle ride in the US. 2009’s Hotter N Hell had over 14,000 riders. What in the world would possess that many people to push themselves in that kind of weather? What are they thinking? Every year there are numerous cases of heat exhaustion. What do they all have in common? They don’t stop (unless physically unable to proceed).
There are two types of Hell we go through in this life. One is the result of choices we make, and one is the result of circumstances beyond our control (natural disasters, violent crimes, etc.). Either way, the advice is still the same:
Principle 1. If you are going through Hell, DON’T focus on where you have been or where you are now, focus on the goal ahead.
Principle 2. If you are going through Hell, STOP listening to the voices that are trying to hold you down and hold you back. It may even be your OWN voice you have to stop listening to. Change the way you talk to yourself if that is the case.
Principle 3. If you are going through Hell, DON’T STOP. It won’t get any cooler staying there. Hell has no fans and no air conditioning.
Sometimes perseverance is all you have left. Take one more step through Hell. Don’t stay there. We all have our times of dealing with Hell on earth. My prayer for you is that you find Shalom (perfect peace)….and some air conditioning!