Send Your Gorillas Running
When I was seven, my older sister and I heard that a circus was coming to our little southern Idaho town. We couldn’t wait. When the big day arrived, we walked to the high school football field a half mile away, found a seat high on the bleachers, and waited for the show to start.
I don’t remember anything about the circus—except for one terrifying incident.
Halfway through the show, two animal trainers rolled out a large, male gorilla in a cage. One of the men carefully opened the enclosure to let the black beast out. I was fascinated. Just as I stretched my neck around the girl in front of me to see what would happen, the gorilla jumped over the chain-link fence and ran up the bleachers. Children shrieked and scattered as he ran straight for me. Wide-eyed and terrified, I darted away just in time.
I didn’t know what happened to my sister, and I didn’t care. I just wanted my mom. I’m also not sure how I got to the street below but I do remember running as fast as I could all the way home.
In my late thirties, the fright of this memory turned to laughter when I realized that the gorilla wasn’t a gorilla at all—it was just a man in a gorilla suit.
This funny story reveals a profound truth: we will always act out what we believe. And this is critical to remember as you do what God has called you to do in your family, career and calling.
If you believe that you’ll fail at your job, you’ll act accordingly; if you believe you can’t manage your finances, your life will reflect that lie—and if you believe a gorilla is real, you’ll scream and run all the way home.
Maybe this is one of the reasons that God says in Philippians 4:8 we should reflect on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. Because our thoughts aren’t just thoughts—they are motivators that lead to action.
To reflect on those things that meet the criteria in Philippians 4:8 means we agree with God. If He has revealed that He has given you special skills to build houses for the poor, do not allow thoughts of lack and limitation through the gate of your mind. Instead, focus on the truth that if God has called you, He will equip you. If God has shown you that He will enable you to be more patient with your children, believe Him. Your behavior will support what you believe.
You are able to accomplish that which God has called you to because He has said you can.