(I originally posted this article a year ago. But as we are entering into another year, with its new challenges and new possibilities, I thought it might be appropriate to re-post it, in the hope that it will give fresh encouragement today.)
You will see in this exceptional photo that the horse is literally flying over this double hurdle with a measurable amount of space to spare. A particularly difficult feat, and a beautiful sight to behold. I was inspired to see in this photo the meeting of a challenge in a quote from a woman named Dorothea Brande. She said: “Act as if it were impossible to fail.”
The beautiful horse in this picture believed he could fly over this hurdle with room to spare. That is the only reason he is doing it successfully. I found that looking at this picture and dwelling on it encouraged me to challenge myself to do the same, and I’m passing on that challenge. Whatever it is in your life that you need to — or even want to — accomplish successfully, believe that you can do it. See yourself doing it. Throw your heart over the hurdles that look like they could hinder you.
A famous trapeze artist from two generations ago was training a new student who, one day, suddenly became filled with fear as he looked at the precarious perch where he had to perform. He froze — couldn’t move a muscle — and began to gasp, “I can’t do it! I can’t do it!” The long-time veteran put his arm around the young man and said, “Yes, son, you can do it, and I will tell you how: throw your heart over the bar, and your body will follow.” The Word of God backs up that premise with the truth from Proverbs 23:7, which says of man, “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
The horse in this picture had been trained by his master to jump over those hurdles successfully. He knew the thrill of doing so, and he knew the rewards of success. That training caused him to believe that he could make this jump with plenty of room to spare. Our God teaches us that we can “do all things through Christ who strengthens us” (Phil. 4:13), and that “with God nothing shall be impossible.” (Luke 1:37). He also tells us that if a man has faith in God and shall “not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.” (Mark 11:23).
That horse threw his heart over those bars because he believed he could make that jump. So he did. He simply acted on what he believed and succeeded. Let his example stir you. When you go through a difficult situation in your life and find yourself facing the challenge of doing something that looks a little too big or too high for you, go back and take a long look at this photo. Meditate on it until the power of it has saturated your own soul. Then obey Dorothea Brande’s wise words: “Act as if it were impossible to fail.”