The Elephant and the Stake
I read something interesting this week about which I had never really thought. Most of us have either been to the circus or seen pictures of them on the television. Have you ever seen or noticed the huge elephants they have there and how they keep them from wandering off? They generally have a chain from their leg to a small stake in the ground. Have you ever wondered why they don’t just walk off taking the stake with them?
Well, they are trained not to do that! How you might ask? I understand it goes something like this: When they are just babies they are chained or tied to huge stakes driven deep into the ground. There is not any chance the baby elephant can pull out the stake. For weeks the baby elephant tries to pull the stake and escape and eventually learns the lesson that you can’t pull out the stake. They just stay where they put you and learn to live within the boundaries which their keepers have placed upon them. Each of us can look at that massive mammal and see that they can escape anytime they wish - just walk away, but they don’t know the strength contained within them.
I wonder how many of us have been have been chained to a stake by people and circumstances in our lives? God created each of us with the potential to be just about anything we want to be and far too often we don’t know the
strength contained within us.
Now don’t confuse commitments and personal obligations with “a stake that holds us”. Those are things we choose willingly to do in or with our lives. They don’t keep us from our potential; they help us see more clearly our goals or dreams.
What is your stake? Someone giving you a hard time about what you can or can’t do well? Someone criticizing you or your work? Some real mistake you made in your past that you are having trouble dealing with now? Self doubt? Self pity? Perhaps something no one knows about but you? The Apostle Paul gives us some words of encouragement for living in and dealing with our personal “stake”. In Philippians 3:13-14. Paul wrote, "No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven"
So how about it… Are you going to continue to be tied to a stake in your life or are you going to break free and live to the potential God has given you? Of course, the greatest potential is that of being a genuine child of God! What’s holding you back? I can assure you it’s nothing that you and God can’t pull from the ground and set you free.
May God give you the strength of Samson in fighting your spiritual battles and finding your potential today!
"I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me." (Philippians 4:13)
Paul Blom Sr., Director of Recovery Ministries
New Hope Community Church, Cambridge, MN 55008
Paul@Newhopecambridge.org April 18, 2014