In 1990, during the National Quality and Business Development Foundation, managers of the world’s largest companies, generals of the United States Army and even the Secretary of Defense listened attentively to, and where extremely impressed by a young man with only 22 years of age. From the moment he stepped on stage, he captivated everyone’s attention. No one wanted to miss even a word. What primarily catches people’s attention about John is that he was born without his two arms. But when these influential people heard him speak, everyone realized that he is someone who thinks differently because he sees no obstacles, just opportunities.
One of eight children, John Foppe worked as a speaker while completing his studies. He graduated university with honors in only three and a half years. John inspires you not only when you hear him, but also when you see him. Nowadays John shaves, makes coffee, drives his car, cooks eggs and bacon and does practically everything we all do in our day to day. He doesn’t stop there, he is also a very talented artist who paints portraits.
Obviously, having been born without arms had a great impact on his life. But his life underwent a crucial turn the day his mother realized that John would one day have to leave home and make his own life. So she made the brave decision to stop helping John do the basic tasks of everyday life. His mother left a newspaper open for him to read on an article about a girl who was born without arms and legs. It was there that he began to see what he had instead of focusing on what he didn ́t. John’s story is a clear example of what happens when someone makes the determination to think differently.
The example of Daniel and his friends clearly teaches us what can happen when we determine to think differently. These young people were taken as captives to Babylon, chosen to be instructed in knowledge and at the same time indoctrinated with pagan customs and way of life (Daniel 1: 3-4). But Daniel and his friends made a decision that made all the difference. They decided that their condition was not going to be a problem.
A problem is a situation that can possibly be solved; a condition is the opportunity to use faith, prayer, intelligence and creativity to see a different result. Daniel and his three friends were determined not to contaminate themselves with the king’s food for a certain period of time, and in the right moment, when they needed it most, that preparation gave forth a great result.
“It’s not where you start but where you finish that counts.” Zig Ziglar
We cannot control how people around us think or behave, but we can control how we think and respond. After being victim of a plot against him, Daniel was taken to the lion’s den, from which the Lord Himself delivered Daniel. Having been saved from this test his words to the king were: ¨My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you” (Daniel 6:22).
Make the decision every day to think differently and remember:
Prayer should produce changes in you.
Problems shouldn’t change your principles.
Your principles change your condition into an opportunity.
I pray that just like Daniel you would be able to think differently and see every challenge as an opportunity.