Don’t Give Up!

I remember the first time I drove a vehicle by myself on public streets – and yes, I was ten years old.  I didn’t exactly plan it beforehand.  It just sort of . . .happened.  It was during Easter vacation while I was with my neighborhood buddies at our local school playground about a mile from home.

There were five of us there because my friend Mike had received a “hand me down” go-cart that was held together with duct tape and chewing gum.  It really was a mess – no brakes, loose steering, it shook, rattled, and barely rolled.  We LOVED it!  We were determined to get it running and take turns riding on the blacktop in and around our elementary school basketball and foursquare courts.

Go Cart

(This is pretty much what Mike and his go-cart looked like . . .)

The only way to start this go-cart was by having a couple of us push while the lucky driver sat in the cockpit and would hopefully get to ride gleefully off into the sunset.  (The only way to stop it was by turning off the engine and letting the motor slow it down.)

When we got to the playground the cart wouldn’t start.  We tried and we tried and we tried.  We took turns steering in the hopes it would be us that would get to drive when it started.  It didn’t, no matter what we did . . . it just wouldn’t start.  I think it was then and there that we invented the word: “bummer.”  Yep, Easter vacation 1964 . . . “bummer.”

Now, we had the problem of pushing the go-cart all the way back home.  This would be twice as hard now because we were really tired and also the excitement and anticipation had totally worn off.  Bummer . . .

Then came the best, worst idea I had ever thought of.  I suggested we draw straws and the guy who drew the “short stick” pushes the go-cart home.

I lost.

The guys ran away in an instant – laughing – taunting  . . .   (Mike, Glen, Daryl, and my brother Paul – I haven’t forgotten – you owe me.)

So, there I was – all alone. Pushing, pushing, pushing a heavy go-cart.  I got so tired I sat down and rested.  I hadn’t even gotten out of the schoolyard yet.  So, in frustration – I pushed the go-cart with a giant push and it went about 10 whole feet – this was a good thing.  I did it again and again.  Progress.

I was almost out of the school.  I imagined everyone else already back home eating lunch.
(Narration ends here)

(Stream of consciousness writing begins here)

Lunch, that sounded good.

Big push.  Push.  Frustrated . . .

Big push.  Push.  Frustrated even more . . .

Big push.  Sputter.  What?

Big push.  Sputter-sputter.  What?!?

Big push.  Vroom!

Go-cart going!

Running to catch go-cart!

Jump in.



Uh-oh . . . street.

Oh-well . . . smile.

Driving on street.

No police . . . good thing.

Faster – faster.

Turn corner.

On my street.

Getting close to home – see friends just arriving back.

Friends stunned – jealous . . . good thing.

No brakes . . . uh-oh.

Pass house – friends . . .

Big uh-oh.

Run out of gas – go-cart stops by Daryl’s house.

Whoot!  Yes!

Triumph!  Yes!

Hero to friends!  Yes!

One of my favorite days ever . . . yes-yes-YES!

Here’s the point:  “Don’t Give Up!”

Don’t lose sight of where you’re headed!

  • Keep on keeping on.
  • Keep growing.
  • Keep learning.
  • Keep submitting to God.
  • Keep loving others.
  • Keep serving.
  • Keep hating sin.
  • Keep your eyes on Jesus!

Hebrews 12:1-2 (The Message)
Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God.

I pray that you will all keep on loving and serving Him until you have that “exhilarating finish” in and with God!

Love you all,

Steve 🙂


P.S.  No animals or children were injured in the making of this blog:

Also, please remember that this story took place in the days that while on school vacation you only went home “when the streetlights came on” so of course, our parents had no idea we were preparing to all go driving around the school playground.

Hey, we also:

  • drank out of hoses,
  • jumped off roofs,
  • climbed trees,
  • made our own skateboards out of our sister’s skates and a two by four,
  • played hide-and-go-seek with walkie-talkies in a six block radius from our house for hours and hours, climbing into neighbor’s yards, avoiding dogs, ducking under clotheslines, trying not to ruin flowerbeds,
  • cut our hands and became “blood-brothers”,
  • licked our dirt encrusted fingers after making taffy from marshmallows,
  • touched our tongues on 9 volt batteries,
  • sucked on fizzies until the foam came out of our mouth,
  • stood barefoot on stickers to prove we were “true Indian braves”,
  • rode on the bumper and hung onto the roof-rack of our dad’s station wagon all the way to the store,
  • went around to all the neighborhood houses asking for bottles so we could walk two miles to Thrifty’s and get the money for the returns in order to by a double scoop ice cream cone for 10 cents,
  • yet, somehow survived . . . and lived to tell about it!

But those are stories for another day . . .




5 Responses to “Don’t Give Up!”

  1. Craig Zaragoza says:

    Great story and message Steve! We must have grown up in the same neighborhood ?

  2. Randy Thomsen says:

    Great blog Steve; and yes, I can relate to just about all those “kid” things and then some.

  3. Chuck Theuring says:

    Don’t give up, a good reminder of how God doesn’t give up on me. That’s apparent, I grew up in the same neighborhood too. How come I didn’t see you guys there?

  4. Joe Kemp says:

    That is awesome Steve. I have herd you share this story B4 and love it each time.
    Yeah…Don’t give up..I would pursue crawdads relentlessly in the canals of Phoenix as a boy.
    I would pursue the LARGEST bull frog ever in the ditches of Phoenix as a boy.
    I would climb to the highest branches of a tree to capture that one buzzing locust as a boy in Phoenix.
    And I would climb even higher in a tree to see the feel the wind of an oncoming thunder & lightening storm.
    Now… I have Jesus to pursue and fight for and it is better than anything else I can remember!

  5. Susan Barr Murdoch says:


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