© 2009 by Angie Ruark
Every family has its rules. One of our family’s rules was set by my husband and I will be eternally grateful to him for it. It’s simple, yet profound. By being bound by this rule, you actually are granted freedom. The rule is this: never say “I can’t.” This does not have to do with whether or not we are free to go to the movies on Saturday, but rather with what we are capable of doing in life. For example, our oldest son, Matthew, was born pretty much legally blind. He sat up and walked a little later than babies do as a rule because of this. One day, when Matthew was about nine years old, we were told in front of Matthew by his ophthalmologist, “Matthew will never play sports, especially baseball.” That was all we needed to hear. The very next day, we signed him up for baseball. He hit a homerun his first time at bat. Now he is nearly seventeen years old, has piloted an airplane, is a pro-marksman with the National Rifle Association, an all-state linebacker, all-district running back, captain of his state championship football team, and now attends a prestigious college-preparatory school. Matthew speaks at youth events to share his story.
I love to share Matthew’s story because it is so inspiring. You see, even though someone else said “he couldn’t” Matthew did not say it and neither did we. This attitude has spilled over into other areas of his life. It has become such a way of life now that Matthew and his younger brothers don’t put limits on what they can achieve. Neither do I. Neither does my husband. We refuse to let the world label us, categorize us, rank us, or put us in a box or a mold.
Most people go through life being told what they can’t do. They accept the limits the world and other “well-intentioned” people place on them. Even worse, they put limits on themselves. I believe that this is the opposite of the way we were meant to live. How does someone else know what you are capable of? How do you know? Don’t you want to find out?
We were created with passion. I believe we were meant to live that way too.
“Behold I set before you an open door.” --- Revelation 3:8