My parents were constantly encouraging me, saying I could do anything I put my mind to. Lie to people long enough, and they’ll believe the lie. They will surround themselves with evidence to support what they’ve been told. After hearing my parents’ encouragement for so long, I thought I could do just about anything short of being Superman, flying faster than a speeding bullet, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.More than once, Daddy told me about the “little engine that could,” slowly repeating “I think I can” as the train strained to get up the mountain with its heavy load. After the engine came over the peak, he described the downward run by repeating, “I thought I could,” in a measured pace that let me hear the chugging engine and the clatter of wheels upon the track.
As a young adult, I soon realized I couldn’t do everything I had dreamed of doing. I tried and tried, but I had to accept reality. I would never dunk a basketball.
I went from thinking I’d be a train engineer to considering the life of a scientist, a doctor, or a preacher. I didn’t have money for college or seminary, so I decided I’d have to be whatever God wanted me to be.
I still think I can.