For so many years in my life I have always “settled” because according to my thinking, I could not do anything but “settle” for the life I have. It seemed okay with me because my life was what I thought, not to bad. I was comfortable in my life. My thoughts, which I thought were positive thoughts and I considered myself a pretty positive person, led me down this road to staying inside my comfort zone because you know, who wants to get out of their comfort zone? Who wants to endure the fear, anxiety, and nervousness that comes with getting out of that comfort zone. But a thought came across my mind today as I sat at my desk. I have sat behind this desk for 18 years, 19 years in June. This thought came as I focused on the Mental Fitness Challenge. The first week of the Mental Fitness Challenge talks about discovering your purpose. When I saw that, it literally scared me because my first thought was, ” I am not sure I know what my God-given purpose is.” I was thinking, “I am not sure why God put me here in this world” but today as I sat at work this thought came to me that “you are here to encourage, serve and be all that God has created you to be.” “You have what it takes to accomplish all LIFE has to offer.” “You just have to stop listening to that ANT that says you can’t and start listening to that ELEPHANT that sees the bigger picture and that says go after those DREAMS.” God says we are to have dreams. I can say that my dreams do not consist of riches, but do not get me wrong I do desire to live comfortably but my whole desire is to care for others and that includes our little furry friends too. I have a passion that God gave me to take care of these furry little ones. So one day I will have an animal shelter that will help the homeless and abused animals. But you know, for so long I thought that it was a great idea but my mind and thoughts were telling me that I will never have that, that it will NEVER happen. That is the wrong thinking to have. My thoughts will now say that Len can have that animal shelter and it will be called “HEAVEN SENT” because these little ones will know what it is like to be cared for like our Heavenly Father cares for us. I have never been one to be able to see the whole picture like my husband. You know when we bought our house I was, to put it lightly not happy. The back yard was overgrown, the side of the house was overgrown with brush, the inside of the house needed some major paint. Brett could see the bigger picture. He could see what it was going to look like but to say that I could not was an understatment. My view (image) was a little clouded. But I can tell you that my thinking as changed. I know that in my heart that I will accomplish this and will have that animal shelter because I can see the BIGGER PICTURE. You know that God desires for us to be great and achieve success. One of my favorite scriptures is “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Phillipians 4:13 So why should we tell our selves that we can’t because he said he will give us strength to do all things. We just have to believe in ourselves. We have to let that ELEPHANT overpower that ANT at times in our lives. Orrin Woodward also said it best, “The only way to lose is to quit!” I don’t know about you but I am not a QUITTER. I will never be known as one that QUIT on my life, QUIT on being all that I could be. I WILL HAVE THE LIFE I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED.
As I said earlier I have worked with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office for 18 years, 19 in June. I had always thought my purpose here at work was to come here every day, do my job and go home but God started another work in me. I discovered that my purpose here was to share Christ and for me that is big because I am definitely not one to talk in front of others too much and that is what I was going to have to do. So on Thursday mornings at 9 am we have a devotional meeting. I am not saying this to say WOOHOO, look at Len. I am saying this because everyday we are given chances to help change someone’s life and so do we let the ANT rule and say “oh no, you can’t do that, you are too shy” or do we let it say, “you go, you have got this”. This is just another testimony of God and how amazing he is and how we OVERCOME those ANT thoughts that say we can’t do something. I also get the opportunity to talk to the lady inmates up front who clean for us and I get the opportunity to encourage them. I see them as no different than me. We have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory but the only difference between them and me is that they have to wear a jail uniform and I don’t. So I said all that to say that you never know how you can help someone or what an encouraging word or smile might mean to someone so OVERCOME those thoughts that you can’t be used and “”LET YOURSELF BE USED”. I am saying “Do not give up on yourself”. Align your ANT and your ELEPHANT and go after those dreams. YOU ARE WORTH IT and YOUR FAMILY IS WORTH IT. You know my Dad died on May 17, 2002. It will be 10 years this year. That was probably one of the worst times in my life. At my Dad’s funeral the preacher was speaking to my sister and I and said “encourage them to do the great things they know they can do and the things Mearon (my Dad) knew they could do”. You know at that time I thought maybe I will accomplish something great but probably not. “Who, little me? What can I accomplish?” That was my thought at the time. I could not see the bigger picture. I let those negative thoughts enter in. I desire to accomplish great things to make my Dad proud of me and now, thanks to LIFE and the Mental Fitness Challenge, I know I can. It might not be the easiest road and there will be those obstacles that might get in the way but as I read this morning in my “Jesus Calling” book that a dear friend sent to me, it said “do not long for the absence of problems in your life. In this world you will have trouble. You have an eternity of problem free living residing in HEAVEN. We will have troubles but are we going to let those troubles keep us from our DREAMS. WHY QUIT the fight of your life, WHY give up? I recently read in Orrin’s RESOLVED book the story of Will Smith. It says in part of his story how he “trains his conscious (ANT) and subconscious (ELEPHANT) to imagine the limitless.” Are we imagining the limitless today? I recently completed the Physical Fitness Test at work. For so long I was scared to take it, but this being my second time, I can say that I passed it again. I know the very first time I took it, my ANT was saying I couldn’t do it but much to my surprise, I passed. We get in our minds so often the I CAN’T. We so often feed our ELEPHANTS the wrong food such as Karl Wallenda, a world-renowned aerial acrobat. All he thought about for three months was falling. He focused on falling instead of walking the tightrope. Instead of feeding his ELEPHANT a vision of success, he fed it a fear of falling and did tragically fall to his death on that day.
Take hold of that thought that tells you, YOU CAN’T and tell it to TAKE A HIKE because YOU CAN. Have the I CAN attitude.
“When a person assumes responsibility for what is fed to his ANT and ELEPHANT, he changes his thoughts.