Delph

What you could do if you didn’t know you couldn’t — I love that concept! Zig Ziglar uses that concept in one of the chapters in his book, “Life Lifters.”

I was in Resistencia, Argentina, years ago, watching a fisherman catch dorado. Freshwater dorado are so big — up to 4 or 5 feet — that ocean fishing gear is required. The fisherman threw out his line, and soon he had a big dorado on the line. It took 20 minutes to pull the fish in, but he finally got it to shore. I thought that dorado would be on the asado (grill) tonight! But no, he threw it back in the water. 

He went fishing again. This time he caught a bigger dorado. It took him 25 minutes to pull it in. I thought that dorado was going to be on the asado tonight. But just like the last time, he threw the fish back in the water. I was stunned. 

He went fishing again. This time he caught a tiny little dorado. To my surprise, he kept it. The next time he caught the biggest dorado of all. It was about 5 feet long and took him 30 minutes to pull it in. He got it onshore, then threw it back in the river. 

Finally, I asked him in my best Spanish why he kept the small fish and threw back the large. His reply, “I only have a 10-inch frying pan.” Got you.

Unfortunately, many people think that way. They limit what they can do because they don’t know they can do it. The fisherman’s mindset was too small — he could have cut the first big fish into smaller pieces and cooked it a little at a time. It takes a new, more significant way of perceiving life to create a more successful life. 

Us humans, made in the image of God, are designed to catch big fish. But it’s hard to fit a 16-inch by 20-inch idea into a 3-inch by 5-inch mindset. Humans were created to have a 5-foot frying pan designed to hold big fish. But many settle for less. It’s not a matter of capacity; it’s a matter of competency in our outlook. What we focus on is what we become. That God-part of us comes in a seed form, but we need to water it.

So, how do you do what you don’t know you can do?  

Have the courage to be different; Jesus was. Standout by becoming outstanding. Learn to handle criticism, or criticism will handle you. Let it develop you, not discourage you. Determine your worth instead of letting others do it for you. They will shortchange you almost every time. Be a player in life, not just a spectator. Then, when you go the extra mile, you are seldom in a traffic jam. You can do all things God wants you to do through Christ who strengthens you. Now, that’s a big frying pan.

I believe in big frying pans. Here’s a writing by an unknown author entitled, “I Believe.” I imagine we could use a bit of “I believe” right now.   

“A birth certificate shows that we were born, a death certificate shows that we died. The pictures in the middle show that we lived.

“Just because two people argue, it doesn’t mean they don’t love each other. And just because they don’t argue, it doesn’t mean they love each other. I believe that we don’t have to change friends if we understand that friends change. I believe that no matter how good a friend is, they’ll hurt you occasionally. Forgive them for that. 

“I believe that you can do something in one moment that will give you heartache for life. I believe that it’s taking me a long time to become the person I want to be. I believe that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them. I believe that you can keep going long after you think you can’t. 

“I believe that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel. I believe that you control your attitude, or it will control you. I believe that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you’re down will be the ones to help you get back up. I believe that sometimes when I’m angry, I have the right to be angry, but that doesn’t give me the right to be cruel. 

“I believe that it isn’t always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes, you must learn to forgive yourself. I believe that no matter how bad your heart is broken, the world doesn’t stop for your grief. I believe that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are primarily responsible for who we become. 

“I believe two people can look at the same thing and see something different. I believe that in a matter of hours, your life can be changed positively or negatively by people who don’t even know you. I believe that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being. 

“I believe that the people we care about most in life are often taken from us too soon. I believe that the happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they make the most of everything they have.”

Here’s a thought from me. I believe that there’s a thought in this list for each of us that we are not understanding, and it could be costing us dearly. Ah-ha!

Ed Delph is a noted author of 10 books, as well as a pastor, teacher, former business owner and speaker. He has traveled extensively, having been to more than 100 countries. He is president of NationStrategy, a nonprofit organization involved in uplifting and transforming communities worldwide. For more information, see nationstrategy.com. He may be contacted at nationstrategy@cs.com.