Can’t Won’t Never
My kids tell me that I’m old (not getting old anymore…but that I’ve arrived at old). Notwithstanding where I am on that sliding scale, I still believe that anything I want to do and that God supports, I can still accomplish in this life. Even now, if I really wanted to be a doctor, I could be that. If I wanted to go back to school, I could certainly do that, and actually may do that. If I wanted to change careers and start all over again at the bottom somewhere, I could also do that. So why have so many people, even those decades younger than me, ascribed to the life philosophy of can’t, won’t, never? “I can’t find a job”, “I won’t take that job”, “I’ll never be able to accomplish that”. They would rather starve then take a job a McDonalds or other minimum wage positions.
It is very possible that their parents did not instill in them a “can do” attitude or that they have tried at a few things and failed miserably, or that their arrogance has tricked them into believing that they are too good to do certain jobs. But, no matter how the thought was planted in their heads, I believe it continues to flourish out of a lack of focus (or a focus on money alone) and a lack of perseverance.
Ask someone who seems to have a problem moving forward in accomplishing things in their lives and I guarantee you that eventually they will tell you that it will take too long or be too hard, or it’s not enough money. It’s not that they are incapable of the tasks it would take to move forward, but they are not willing to pay the price of time, energy, and commitment. These are the same people who believe that they should be entitled to make $50,000 a year within 6 months of starting a job with no experience, no degree, and without even a demonstration of skill. Those ads we see regularly promising such things were tailor made for this group.
We can blame technology and our ever evolving push a button instant world, that processes faster and faster with each new generation of equipment, for why some people think they are entitled to instant success without the hard work. They can blame their parents, or their teachers, or their spouses, or anybody else they think they can put the blame on for why they have not achieved. But at the end of the day, every one of us, every day has a choice and makes a decision to go out into the world and make our mark for ourselves and others, or stay home and sit on the couch (probably on Facebook or playing video games).
The biblical story of Ruth, daughter-in-law of Naomi tells about how Ruth worked hard in the fields and how God rewards the steadfast, hard-working, and faithful. (Ruth 2). Listen, I know that there are people who have a sad history and who have not had all the advantages that others have had. But the truth is that everybody has a story and everybody has trials and troubles in their lives. We can either wallow in them or rise above them.
All I’m saying is, we can’t let our past be what causes our future to fail. Can’t ,won’t, and never are limiting words. They limit where we can go and what we can accomplish. They interfere with God’s plans for us and negate our faith. We must take them out of our vocabulary unless we are talking to the devil.
Delete any negativity or complaining and replace them with goals and get-up-and-go. God is always for us and not against us. Jeremiah 29:11 (my favorite verse in all the Bible) says, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to bless you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” There is nothing equivocal in that statement.
Have faith that God does not want us to standstill and that what He has for us will begin to unfold before us as we persevere and move forward. But we have to put that one foot out in front of the other. Even if we don’t know where we are headed or what God has for us, just keep walking, keep trying, keep moving, keep persevering. If we stand at the edge of the shore, we will not see the vastness of the world, but if we put just one toe into the water, God will come across the vastness of the ocean to meet us and carry us through.
Michele Clark Jenkins