Stunted Growth

Stunted Growth

When I was a kid, I saw plenty of goldfish in the houses of my friends, and I remember wondering why so many people would want to keep such small, unexciting creatures as pets.

Then one day, when I was about ten years old, I went on a school field trip to a botanical garden that had a pond stocked with fish. One especially large, brilliantly colored fish stood out to me.

“What kind of fish is that one?” I asked our guide.

“That’s a goldfish,” she replied.

I was confused. “Aren’t goldfish supposed to be small?” I asked with a note of nine-year-old sarcasm.

“Not at all,” she replied. “Goldfish will grow even larger than these. It really just depends on the size of their environment.”

I took in the information and determined to never again show myself so ignorant about goldfish, but it was years before I understood the broader lesson.

How often have I been like a goldfish in a fishbowl? How often have I limited myself by my perception of my world? Worse still, how many times have I put others in a small bowl in my mind? How many times have I written off someone as insignificant or unexciting? How many times have I failed to see others’ potential to grow?

How much more could I achieve if I forgot my perceived limitations and dared to swim beyond the boundaries I’ve set for myself? And what would happen if I moved others from their small bowls into the ocean of possibilities that Jesus offers?

Just imagine a world full of people with that perspective, who truly believe that with God all things are possible.

* * *

Some people see a wall, and assume that’s the end of their journey. Others see it, and decide it’s just the beginning.—Angeline Trevena

If you are facing a new challenge or being asked to do something that you have never done before, don’t be afraid to step out. You have more capability than you think you do, but you will never see it unless you place a demand on yourself for more.—Joyce Meyer (b. 1943)

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