I hear my son singing his favorite song after I put him to bed for naptime.
Singing himself to sleep…isn’t that the sweetest?
But he’s not singing “Jesus Loves Me” or “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”
He’s not even singing “The Ladybug Picnic” (our personal favorite) or “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.”
No, at the top of his lungs, he is crooning out:
“Bob, the Quitter. Can He pix it? Bob, the Quitter. Yes, he pix it!” (he’s still working on the ‘f’ sound for ‘fix.)
This is not how the song goes.
This summer, my daughters have been making up parodies of the theme songs to preschool TV shows. They’ve tackled all the big ones: Elmo, Little Einsteins, Blue’s Clues, Wonder Pets.
And now this: Bob, the Builder.
Unfortunately, my son has adopted their parody of good old construction site Bob and instead of singing “Bob, the Builder….” he now sings “Bob, the Quitter” every single time.
My daughters are now under strict orders not to sing any of their parodies within his hearing in case they ruin yet another song for him.
And, whenever my son breaks into this now-ruined tune, I try to sing it the right way, emphasizing “Builder” with great force so he’ll hear me and make the correction.
So far, this has failed. Bob the Quitter it remains.
My boy has dug in his heels on this one, which of course makes this parody even funnier.
He refuses to quit singing a song about a “quitter” who apparently can indeed fix things despite his propensity for giving up!
It boggles the mind.
Still, while I admire my son’s tenacity and willingness to hang on tight, I’m sure at some point he’ll correct his little ditty and sing with just as much heart: “Bob, the Builder, Can he fix it? Bob the Builder, yes he can!”
And I’ll rejoice because, not only will the lyrics finally be correct, he’ll get the whole point of the song in the first place:
Don’t quit. Don’t give up.
Don’t get bogged down by the problem; keep your eyes fixed on the goal and the finish and the completed work.
After all, that’s what we all need at times, the reminder to just keep going.
When we’re broken and overwhelmed, weary and ready to give up, maybe we can’t tackle everything before us.
But this next thing, this next calling, this next task, that we can do with God’s help.
One more step. One more day.
One more prayer even when you haven’t seen results.
One more act of obedience to God even if it feels overlooked or unappreciated.
One more choice to be faithful despite the unfaithfulness of others or to act with integrity even when others fail.
God knows what it is we truly need in the moments when we want to quit, what we need to hang on one tiny step at a time.
When Paul was imprisoned in Jerusalem and the forces against him seemed overwhelming, look what God did for him:
The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome” (Acts 23:11 ESV).
That’s what the Lord told Paul.
Why? Because it wasn’t over yet. There was more to come. Paul didn’t need to worry because God promised there was more to this story.
God didn’t tell Paul everything, but he did show the next step was Rome.
And, this is what I pray when I feel like throwing up my hands to concede defeat,
“God, help me remember there is more to this story. Give me courage. Help me hold on until you finish this work.”
Even more than that, I remember the Psalmist who said:
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
2 He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord (Psalm 40:1-3).
I ask God for the “new song” only He can give.
Then I set my heart on that future, for the day when the pit will be behind me and I’ll be standing on the steadiness of a rock. My feet won’t be shaky. The ground beneath me will be strong.
And I’ll sing a “new song…of praise to our God.”
For all of us who feel like laying down and giving up, may we ask God today for a new vision, a new song, and the hope we need to just keep going each new day.