If You’re Going Through Hell, Keep Going
I keep a quote from Winston Churchill on my desk. It’s carved into a block of metal and topped with a little metal knight. It says, If you’re going through hell, keep going.
It’s a statement worth remembering and worth sharing—for more than one reason.
First, the obvious: Giving up is never the right option. Our lives are journeys coursing through good times and bad times; getting to a better place requires a decision to keep moving forward.
Second, Churchill’s statement presumes that you can keep going. And he was right. Sometimes, keeping going means taking the next painful step to cope with loss. Sometimes, it means taking the next painful step to rescue a business or to resurrect one’s finances after a business doesn’t succeed. Sometimes, it means putting in the extra effort to reopen lines of communication with someone you’re in serious conflict with. Sometimes, it just means getting up in the morning and walking around the block to remind yourself you can. I promise you this: There is always a version of “I can” to be found inside your heart and mind.
Third, when you embrace the notion that you can keep going, God (or the universe, if you prefer) takes heed. Momentum is mysteriously created from being unwilling to stop.
The late Scottish adventurer William Hutchinson Murray put it this way:
Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.
Not infrequently in life, the momentous decision to commit that life requires of us, in order to trigger Providence moving with us, is the decision to not give up. To keep going. Because the fuel powering that decision is called faith. And faith can move mountains.
Dr. Keith Ablow