Throughout my life, as I’ve worked with people in so many different capacities, one of my weaknesses is that I always want more for people…see more in them than they do.
Tony Robbins tells a story about a young person who joins the coast guard. He’s just graduated from the coast guard academy, and he’s headed out to his first rescue. A boat has capsized.
He has a sense of excitement…it’s the first action he’s seen…but there’s also this heavy sense of responsibility that he’s experiencing…life and death is in his hands.
As the helicopter closes in on the scene, he sees that there are more people in the water than seats in the rescue chopper.
Sir…we have a problem. There are more people in the water than we have seats.
Son…what you need to understand is that we can’t save all of them. There are two groups.
The first group is panicked. They will be screaming, splashing in the water, hurting one another. They want someone to come save them but are so panicked that they can’t move from that spot.
The second group will start swimming toward the helicopter as it approaches. Those people will be calm enough to get on the chopper. Those are the people we can save.
When I first heard that story, my heart broke for the first group. I want to save everyone…
But what I’ve realized…about myself and other people…is two things.
First of all, it’s not fair to me to try to save everyone. The saying hurt people hurt people is very true. If someone is not ready for healing…for the life of their dreams, I can’t make them want it. I can’t heal them. Even Jesus couldn’t.
Don’t believe me about Jesus? Go read the Bible. Every time someone asked Jesus for healing, they had to be specific and they had to take action. Stretch out your withered hand. Spit into the mud and put it on your blind eyes.
And there were people who needed healing who didn’t ask…who didn’t take action…and Jesus walked right by them.
The people who needed the healing the most…the Pharisees…were the ones who were the cruelest to Jesus and the disciples. Jesus wanted to save them…but they were so blinded by their bitterness that they wouldn’t allow it.
Let’s talk about Paul…he was the biggest persecutor of Christians…he was proud of it. It wasn’t until he had that moment on the road of Damascus that he changed his ways and went on to perform miracles, write 2/3 of the New Testament and become the man that we all admire and quote.
Secondly…it’s not fair to the person who doesn’t want the healing for me to try to make it happen…to force it.
Over the last 46 years, my biggest lessons…my biggest transformations came not when someone told me what I needed…but when I leaned into the pain of my situation…looked my ugly, festering wound in the face, leaned into the pain and did the work.
My proudest accomplishments were not handed to me…they were earned.
I don’t write this to tell you that it has to be hard…because it doesn’t have to be hard. Someone can conceivably wake up, decide to make the changes and BAM they are a new person.
But…since my ultimate guide for life isn’t a guru…it’s the Bible…I have to understand that there is a process, a framework for healing a success.
Yes…it can be easy…heck…I’d posit that God WANTS it to be easy…but at the end of the day, success and healing require two things…a decision…asking specifically for what you want…and personal action.
So…my question is this…are you willing to only work with people who are swimming toward the boat?
Are you willing to dial in and be specific about what you want?
And finally…are you willing to take action?