There is a commercial from a local car dealer where we live. We don't watch much TV, but You do not have to see this commercial many times to know the little jingle they say at the end of every commercial: "Don't tell me what you can't do, tell me what you can do, and I'll take care of the rest." Actually, it is Crossroads Ford's slogan as a whole--do you have a local dealership? You might have heard the jingle too! Go ahead and watch the last 5 seconds. The whole commercial is only 30 seconds--not that I am selling cars...but think of that slogan, the jingle at the end...."Don't tell me what you can't do. Tell me what you can do. I'll take care of the rest."
"Don't Tell Me What You Can't Do, Tell Me What You Can Do! I'll take care of the rest."
I learned a few years ago the amazing perspective of looking at "what you CAN do" instead of focusing on what you can't do. I was at a language learning retreat, and we had divided up into small groups. We were talking about ministry opportunities, language learning options, creative ways we could move forward especially in our work with national partners. One of my friends had such a testimony! After being discouraged about not having a national partner, she decided to shift her perspective and think about what she did have. Changing her perspective changed everything for her ministry! All of a sudden she could do so much more! She had opportunities! And, I think when we change our perspective, the same is true in so many areas of our lives as well.
The mind is powerful--a very small shift or change in perspective affects your system of beliefs, your attitude, your joy, your perspective on whatever it is that you are thinking about--whether ministry opportunities, national partners, working out, nutrition, and you can fill in the blank for whatever circumstance. Here are a few examples of a few perspective shifts:
I may not have a national believing partner to work with, but I DO have a friend that will translate for me and help me. I DO have someone that wants to study the Bible. Or you might not even be that far--you may not have a friend or someone yet, but you do have a person in mind! You can pray and meet people. Start anywhere!
I may not have a gym membership, but I DO have access to free videos. I can do squats and jumping jacks in my small bedroom!
I cannot/should not run outside (pollution, safety, culture), but I CAN workout inside. I can figure out other ways to move my body and be active. Or, I cannot run because of my back or my knees, but I can walk!
I do not have a whole hour to do _______, but I CAN STILL DO _______ for 15 minutes (insert Bible reading, workout, reading a book to kids, cleaning, food prep, to-do list).
I cannot move overseas (or return back overseas), but I CAN continue to work on language. I can pray. I can learn about the culture. I can serve others right where I am.
We get paralyzed when we focus on what we do not have or what we cannot do--ministry opportunities we don't have, time we don't have, perfect set-up we don't have, resources we don't have, relationships we don't have, etc. The truth is, we have what we need, and when we start looking at what we do have, a shift will happen. It does happen! Even more, the Lord has you exactly where He wants you, and you have all that you need! Ask Him to help you see it and help you shift your perspective. It is powerful!
It sounds SO incredibly simple, but I promise it is a game changer. Try the shift today and think about what you DO have. Think about what you CAN do. And, if you are having a hard time seeing it, ask the Lord to show you and lead you. He has you right where He wants you. He has given you and is giving you what you need for the work He is doing in, around, and through you. It may not look like what you thought it would look like. I may not be your ideal, but shift that perspective, and you might just find He has so much more in store with what you DO have!
Don't tell me what you can't do. Tell me what you can do! He will take care of the rest.