I was five when I first saw and fell in love with a baby elephant with humongous ears (who later found out he could fly). “Dumbo” was one of my favorite Disney movies, and it is relevant today – Dumbo was made fun of and bullied, yet became a hero because his large ears allowed him to fly. A great story which immediately took me back to childhood when pastor said his daughter asked him about “Dumbo.” That Sunday I learned something about elephants I didn’t know.
Baby elephants held in captivity are tethered by rope or chain on one foot to keep them from roaming. That I knew. What I didn’t know is that even when they are grown, that tether can keep them in place whether it’s tied to a stake or not. Elephants are the strongest animals on the planet, easily breaking any rope or chain, yet that tether keeps the elephant in place. Elephants become conditioned to their circumstance. Pastor’s analogy struck me like a brick!
I’m not that different from an elephant. I, too, can be conditioned to my circumstances; settle for something less; tell myself I’m not smart enough or good enough; tell myself something can’t be done and stop trying before ever starting. I easily fall prey to listening to too much of the world instead of the Creator.
Scripture tells us not to be conformed (conditioned) to this world, but transformed by renewing the mind. Well, there’s no greater transformation than Jesus.
Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”