"As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, 'Have mercy on us, Son of David!' When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, 'Do you believe that I am able to do this?' 'Yes, Lord,' they replied. Then he touched their eyes and said, 'According to your faith will it be done to you'; and their sight was restored."1
Robert Schuller shares the wonderful story about Olympic champion, Charlie Paddock who loved to speak to young people in high schools. At East Tech High School in Cleveland, Ohio, he challenged those young people: "If you think you can, you can! If you believe something strongly enough, it will come to pass in your life." Afterward he lifted his hand and said, "Who knows? Maybe there's an Olympic champion in this auditorium this afternoon."
Later a scrawny little black boy approached him and said, "Gee, Mr. Paddock, I'd give anything if I could be an Olympic champion just like you."
It was that young boy's moment of inspiration. From that moment on his life was changed! In 1936 he went to Berlin, Germany, and won four gold medals. His name is Jesse Owens. When he returned home he was driven through the streets of Cleveland and greeted by a cheering crowd. The car stopped for him to sign autographs. That day a skinny little boy pressed himself against the car and said, "Gee, Mr. Owens, I'd give anything to be an Olympic champion just like you."
Jesse reached out to this little fellow (who was nicknamed "Bones") and said, "You know that's what I wanted when I was about your age. If you will work hard and train hard, and if you will believe, then you can become an Olympic champion."
The little boy was so inspired that he ran all the way home where he told his grandmother, "I'm going to become an Olympic champion." In Wimbley Stadium in London, England, in 1948, six young men waited to hear the starting gun. The man in the outside lane burst out ahead; drove down to hit the tape, and won the race. His name was Harrison "Bones" Dillard. He tied Jesse Owens's Olympic record that day and went on to break many more records.2
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to see what you want me to achieve with my life, give me the faith to believe it is possible, and the courage and determination to pursue it with all my heart for the betterment of others and for your glory. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Matthew 9:27-30 (NIV).
2. This illustration is from Robert Schuller's Move Ahead With Possibility Thinking, (New York: Jove Books, 1967).
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