Our aquafit instructor asked us to do a cross-country ski movement with our arms and legs. The added twist was we had to do this without letting our feet touch the bottom of the pool.
She said, “The resistance will be felt in your whole body, from the neck down.” While completing the exercise I thought, “My resistance is normally felt from the neck up!”
I know I’m not the only one who has experienced this. My mindset controls what I am capable of achieving.
Years ago I clipped a cartoon out of the paper and had it displayed on my fridge. One character said, “I’ve realized that I’m the only one keeping me from reaching my full potential.” The other replied, “And a mighty fine job you’re doing of it.”
This served as a powerful reminder to get out of my own way. Too often the resistance I face doesn’t come from outside sources but from myself.
I read an excerpt from the book, Trade Your Cares for Calm by Max Lucado that addressed this very well. He said the widest river in the world is not the Amazon or the Nile. It is a body of water called ‘If Only’. He talked about the number of people who stand on its banks wanting to cross but never doing it. They are convinced the ‘If Only’ river is what separates them from the good life.
We all have a choice to make. Are we going to let the resistance in our minds stop us or are we going to cross the ‘If Only’ river?
“The good life begins, not when circumstances change, but when our attitude toward them does.” Max Lucado
I noticed the little boy as I was driving slowly through a residential neighbourhood. He was on a bicycle with training wheels. What first caught my attention was how fast he was pedaling. His little legs couldn’t have moved any faster!
Unfortunately, one of his training wheels had been caught between stepping stones in his yard. This meant the bike wasn’t level and without the proper wheels on the ground, he wasn’t moving. All his hard work was getting him nowhere.
I thought to myself, the poor child doesn’t know that no matter how hard he pedals the bike won’t move until he gets unstuck.
A voice inside me said, “This is a good visual of how you spin your wheels and wonder why you don’t get anywhere.” Ouch! The truth can hurt when it smacks you in the face.
When I don’t get the results I’d hoped for I often keep doing the same things as before but intensify the effort. Albert Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
What is needed is for me to look at my situation from different angles. Being objective can help me figure out what is causing me to be stuck. I might be able to fix things on my own or I may need assistance.
Once I get back on a level surface I can move forward instead of suffering the frustration of spinning my wheels.
I hadn’t seen my thirteen year-old granddaughter in a few weeks and went to give her a big hug. Something felt different and I realized she now surpassed me in height.
When I commented on this she crouched down to make me appear taller. I asked her to stand back up again and told her that I never wanted her to be “less than” she really was.
Later, I explained that we are all equal in God’s sight. She has special talents and abilities to share with the world and playing small robs others of the gifts she has to share.
In the book, Return to Love, Marianne Williams said “Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”
This may have been a deep message to give someone my granddaughter’s age. I understand what a crucial time this is in her life and I remember the self-doubts that started in my teens and continued for many years.
They are still able to interfere with my life today. Perhaps the message was as much for me as it was for her. My talents and abilities are not the same as hers but each of us is an important part of the body of Christ. As such we need to rise to our full potential and use the gifts we’ve been given.
Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. (Romans 12:4-6 NLT)