Reflections - Send Your Gorillas Running

Writer Author  Shana Schutte
Christian Column : Devotionals  - Fiction  No

Christian Author Writer 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.

Part way through the show, the animal trainers rolled out a large, male gorilla in a cage. Then, 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 hilarious laughter as I realized that the gorilla wasn't a gorilla at all--it was just as man in a gorilla suit.

This funny story reveals a profound truth: we will always act out what we believe. If we believe we'll fail at a job, we'll act accordingly; if we think that God doesn't love us, our lives will reflect that lie, and if we think a gorilla is real, we'll scream and run all the way home.

Maybe that is one of the reasons that God says in Philippians 4:8 that 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. Thankfully, Philippians 4:8 is a choice. Some days I need to be able to make a better choice when I wake up grumpy and "gorillas" of fear or anxiety are chasing me, don't you? Isn't it great to know that just by changing how we think, we can send those nasty "gorillas" running?

What's chasing you today? Is it a "gorilla" of anxiety, fear, frustration, anger, bitterness, or rage? Face the "gorilla" head on by changing how you think. If you need to, confess to God so He can help you accept His thoughts. Then embrace something from the list in Philippians 4:8. In minutes, you'll experience a different mood.

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Country: United States
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