Managing the elephants along the way

How do you eat an elephant? That was the question posed by the speaker at a recent nursing graduation I attended. How do you eat an elephant?

Some of the graduating students offered responses like “from the head” or “you don’t eat elephants.” The speaker’s answer: You eat an elephant one bite at a time.

Her point was that we should deal with problems one step at a time, and not get overwhelmed by looking too closely at the big picture. One small good decision leads to the second small good decision, and so forth.

This has great application to our Christian lives as well. How do we eat an elephant called a big problem, or a major life-change, or daily life stressors?

One bite at a time, one good decision at a time, and one firm step at a time.

I wrote grants for the health department where I worked. The task of meeting the deadline with a hundred pages of supportive documentation and text was overwhelming. Writing my first novel seemed un-doable. Living from one paycheck to the next at times felt impossible. The elephant is always huge – too huge.

Jesus promised if we have faith the size of a mustard seed we can tell a mountain to move to the sea and it will obey. That huge feat takes only a tiny grain of faith. With a small bit of faith, we can eat our personal elephants one bite at a time.

I learned to break my grant projects into smaller sections, what I needed to do each week. Then I broke the weeks down to the tiny projects I had to accomplish daily. One small bite a day and the job got done!

Consider those major problems: what small thing can I do today toward accomplishing the goal? What about that budget? Can I get through one more day with the finances I have available? One more day – one more bite? It takes the strength of the Holy Spirit within us to believe we can do it, and a tiny bit of faith like the mustard seed to believe it will make a difference.

We all have challenges that hover like mountains over our heads. Many of us are facing new challenges, daily stressors, health, and budget issues. God promised His help. Grab hold of the promise and move ahead one bite at a time. That elephant will be gone before you know it!

Have a blessed week as you work on consuming that elephant in your life.


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