It is one of the most famous boxing matches in history.
It was November 25, 1980, at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. The fight was a rematch between Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran.
Duran had won the previous fight but Sugar Ray boasted that he’d beat him with his quickness and power. Duran came to the arena with a record of 72 wins and just one loss. When he stepped into the ring that night he had won his last 41 fights in a row.
The rematch was a contest of small margins. Round after round the men brawled and only a point or two separated the fighters according to the judges’ scorecards.
But then, in the eighth round, the unthinkable happened.
The reigning champion, Roberto Duran turned to the referee and spoke two words: “No Mas.” No more. He wouldn’t not throw another punch. He was done.
According to reporters, Duran wasn’t injured, but he was frustrated and hurting. In a split second, he made a decision, he’d had enough.
With 103 wins, Duran was considered one of the best fighters to ever step into the ring. Yet, in the boxing world, if you mention Duran, the first thought that comes to mind is “no mas.”
For most people, the one thing they remember about that fight? Not the great left jab to the chin or the famous dancing around the ring but the defining moment was the second it took for Duran to quit.
Sometimes quitting seems like a good idea. You have those days, right? You’d love to quit that group you’re leading or maybe you’d like to quit your job. Your church. Your marriage. Maybe you’d like to quit a particular friendship or even, your family. Some of you would like to quit God.
Almost 1 million people every year try to quit life. Suicide is an epidemic kind of quitting.
And, before you judge those people, I want to point out that some of the greatest heroes of faith appears to have experienced such anguish.
Jonah prayed, “Now, oh Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”
Elijah said, “Lord, go ahead and take my life. I’m finished.”
Job said, “Cursed be the day I was born” and “I have not peace, no quietness, I have no rest, but only turmoil.”
Jeremiah, known as the weeping prophet, said, “O that my eyes were a fountain of tears that I might weep day and night.”
Moses was angry and felt betrayed by his own people. You can tell he wanted to quit when he cried out to God, “But now, please forgive their sin — but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.”
Have you ever felt like these guys? Depressed, despondent, destroyed?
If you have, you walk the same shadowy hall of many great men and women.
Yet, what sets them apart is that though they were tempted to quit, they did not.
So, feel your sorrow and frustration, but don’t wallow in the deep waters of despair. Keep doing the next right thing. Smile at a stranger. Serve someone else. Be faithful to what and whom God has strategically placed in your life.
Whatever you do this day... don’t be a quitter.