I Can – Can You?

Many years ago I read a book.  The author was in a hotel room and outside there was a sign that kept blinking: ICAN.  He finally looked out his window and the sign was a part of AMER—ICAN.  He went on to write a book entitled “I CAN”.

It seems we are going through an era when many believe that I don’t need too, the government will take care of me.  Americans are good people capable of doing about anything they think they can.  We are a people, well educated, competitive with free spirits.  Many believe that all things are possible.

As great as America is there was a time I remember a different America.  I was raised in a rural town.  Our neighbors were God-fearing people.  They were honest and hard working.  They were very charitable and if you needed help they were there to assist.  It was the expected thing to do.  They believed America’s best days were ahead and they were.  We were a nation with morals and ethical principles.  Millions of foreigners waited years to immigrate to our shores.  When they arrived they immediately assimilated into our culture, learned our language and strived to become citizens.

I spent four years in the U.S. Navy.  I lived with men from all over the country.  They were as patriotic as anyone can be.  They counted it an honor to serve their country.  We were engaged in war during my term.  Our ship patrolled off the coast and that was as close to battle as I got.  I don’t know of any of my fellow servicemen that were not willing to fight for our country.

It seems we have been given too much.  We have become a tremendously prosperous country.  It reminds me of the Old Testament when God would bless the Israelites only to later punish them for their idolatry, their disobedience and having turned from living according to His Commandments.

The American dream is still available to those who realize that it won’t be given to them; it has to be earned.  I have read many books on the power of positive thinking.  I studied management principles and went to numerous seminars to improve my skills.  The one book that has helped me the most is studying the Bible.  One thing I learned was preparation.  It was the key to success.  I learned the importance of trusting in God’s promises.  I became aware that the Holy Spirit was given to us that we might have comfort, guidance, a purpose in life and to become free from the ways of society and our worldly, self-centered nature.

One thing I learned was preparation and trusting God was the key to success in everything.  I have used the illustration that professional basketball players often would shoot five hundred baskets a day, every day.  My grandson is a drummer and plays before thousands every week.  He had a God-given dream that someday he would be a drummer.  He had never played the drums before.  His talent is God-given but it didn’t just happen.  He set goals, made a commitment to practice and did for many, many hours.  He was willing to take risks by playing in the school band when he had little skills.  Today, too many have dreams but they are unwilling to pursue them.  It takes too much time and energy and they fear failure.

I am convinced that we can go back to being that country that we were just a few years ago when we believed all things were possible.  With God’s help we can be a people who believe “I CAN” and will do what many believe is impossible.  But to God there is nothing that is impossible.  We must do as Scripture says and develop the “mind of Christ”.  Then when we have a God-given dream we will react with “I CAN”.  If God can make a king out of David, a Sheppard boy—the lowest of all jobs, then He can make us a success if we will only co-operate.


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