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“As a man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front legs. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at any time, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not. He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” the trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.” The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were. Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before? Failure is part of learning; we should never give up the struggle in life.” – A.M. Marcus. 

As I read this I thought of many who remain helpless and hopeless because they stay focused on the rope that blinds and binds them. Failure and forgetting is part of the process of life. There are times that everyone needs a new beginning. “Brethren … this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13-14). Paul encourages you to forget what is behind and focus on what is before you.

A failure is not someone who fails, but someone who quits. Success is not determined by what it takes to start you, but what it takes to stop you. You need to break the bonds that bind you. If you don’t like your present life, change it! You can’t change the past but you can change the future. When the devil reminds you of your past, remind him of his future. Don’t be like the elephant! When he sees the rope he loses all hope. As long as you have hope you can cope. Others have overcome and so can you (1 John 4:4). Ask the Lord for a new beginning. The Lord can do for you what you cannot do for yourself, if you will let Him. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth (enables) me” (Phil. 4:13). Cut the rope and say, “Enough! You will not control my life.” Forget the past and make the days ahead the best you have ever known. Learn a lesson from a little rope!

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