“I’m Going to Quit”

felt_tip.jpgThat is exactly what I said when I was a junior at The University of North Texas.


"I’m going to quit." 


I was tired of school.  I was working late nights at United Parcel Service and then getting up in time for 8:00 classes each morning.  My grades were not good.  So I decided I was going to quit college.  I thought about some people I knew who were not college graduates.  They seemed to be doing well.  I rationalized as I thought about others who had graduated from college and had difficulty getting a job.


So, one day I skipped classes and drove to Dallas determined to do something else with my life.  First, I interviewed at a radio announcer school.  Seemed like a great job to me.  Then, the guy who interviewed me told me how difficult it was to break in to a major market like Dallas-Fort Worth.  He told me that it is very, very difficult to ever move beyond a very small radio station.  (I think I had in mind replacing my favorite announcer on the Dallas station I listened to!)  Hmmm.  "I need to think about this." 


Next, I drove to the Dallas Police Department in downtown Dallas.  I told the man at the desk that I wanted to apply to be a police officer.  He led me to a small office and said that a sergeant would be with me in a few minutes.   I filled out a preliminary application.  Then, the sergeant walked in.  He was African-American, late 50s, much gray hair, and was smoking a pipe.  He asked me about school.  I told him that I was a junior at North Texas and that I was quitting.   He looked at me in this fatherly way and said, "Son, why don’t you just finish school.  Then if you are still interested, come back and see me."


That is what I did.  And, I am so glad I did. 


I am so grateful for a very wise police sergeant.  Looking back, I wish I had asked others for their advice or counsel.  I didn’t.  In fact, that never even occurred to me.  I was very stubborn and really didn’t consider that others might know more about this than me.  I didn’t realize until later that the value of a college education goes way beyond the way I was thinking.  I was floundering and without any direction.


Through the years, I’ve tried to handle my uncertainties, my frustrations, and my need for direction in a much different manner.  I have sought the counsel of people who have been more than willing to help me think through my past, present, and future.  I have found that many people are more than willing to help, if I will just ask.


To this day, there are times when I just don’t know what to do.  That is life.  What I am trying to avoid, however, is compounding my problems by making rash or unnecessarily quick decisions.  Far better to spend time in prayer, seeking God in all of this.  Far better to seek the counsel of some who might be farther down the road in this area.  Far better to think through the situation and then trust the Lord.  In many ways, I am still learning.  But hopefully, I am coming at these frustrations better than I did at one time. 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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6 thoughts on ““I’m Going to Quit”

  1. Jim: We often talk about unsolicited advice in a negative way, but how often it is true in this world, that an unasked for comment imparts wisdom to us that can change the course of our lives.Thank God for the wisdom of that officer and thank God that you had the wisdom to listen to him. 

  2. I have been at a similar cross roads over the last 12 months, but fortunatly for me, I knew God had spoken to me about going to University (british terminolgy for you there!) so I didnt have much option. Although it was becoming financially difficult to hold out God saw me through in a way that i could never believe, now I work for an North Sea Oil Service Company in a well paid job who allow me to go to lectures and do my job! Also Jim, I dont know how you pack so much content into these ciomparativly small posts, they are really rich, definatly an inspiration for me to end my "war and peace"esque length posts!

  3. Liam,I always appreciate your comments.  So glad you have this job and are able to continue with your studies.  What a blessing!  You are wise to deal with this at 21.  It can become much more complicated to go back to school years later.Thanks for your kind remarks regarding the blog.  I am sort of just writing what is on my heart that day and I guess that is how long it is.  🙂

  4. Jim: Of all the lessons I needed to teach my children, to not quit was one of the more difficult. They grew up in a disposable society and it was not only easy but more socially acceptable to quit. Time will tell if the lesson was learned, though I am proud of them both for persevering through college.