CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- I recently saw a young patient in middle school who taught me a valuable life lesson. This young man came to my office because his grades were low. His ultimate goal was to raise his grade point average high enough so that he could run track. He stated the event he was looking forward to competing in was the hurdles.
I thought of all the events, the hurdles appeared to be among the most difficult. While watching the Olympics this past summer, each time the competing athletes approached a hurdle, I would cringe for them imagining the pain they would experience if they fell on one of those hurdles. Yet to my amazement, they did not hesitate or pause. As they approached each hurdle, they would glide over them with a level of grace without faltering. When I expressed my surprise that there was no hesitation, my young patient looked at me shrugging his shoulders implying it was no big deal. He stated his coach taught them to take three steps then "run through the hurdles as though they were invisible." As I was still questioning, clearly not understanding how they could "run through" without any reluctance, he added, "My coach taught us to keep our eyes on the finish line."
Little did my young patient realize the magnitude of the scientific implications of his statement, "running through hurdles as though they were invisible." He did not realize by embracing this positive mindset that these athletes were actually changing the structure of their brains. In his book, the "Biology of Belief," Bruce Lipton, Ph.D., describes the science of epigenetics: the study of the molecular mechanisms by which environment controls gene activity, one of the most active areas of scientific research today. Dr. Lipton's research findings substantiate that by fostering positive beliefs you can facilitate new DNA coding, new neural connections that can in turn impact positive changes in our lives. He writes, "We are not victims of our genes but masters of our fates, able to create lives overflowing with peace." I was in awe!
The irony was that my young patient did not comprehend the powerful significance of his ability to "run through the hurdles as though they are invisible" by "keeping his eyes focused on the finish line." Even though I tried to explain it to him, he didn't get it. Funny, he didn't grasp it at a conscious level but every cell in his genome did! What a powerful metaphor for life! What if each time we faced a hurdle in life, whether it be financial, relationships, health concerns or whatever the issue, we followed our coach, God's advice?
"Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the prize of the high calling of God." Philippians 3:13-14. We take our steps forward doing all that we can to approach our goal then "run through them as if they were invisible," WITHOUT hesitation. All the while never faltering, never hesitating with absolute trust in "our Coach" knowing that if we believe, "ALL things are possible for one who believes." Mark 9:23.
Facing any hurdles in life? One thing is sure, we all have our turn! Here is the good news: by embracing positive beliefs keeping our thoughts focused on hope and belief that all things are possible, we can literally change our biology. This means with God, we can overcome, conquer and defeat any obstacle! Lets take our steps forward with our eyes fixed on the finish line as we run toward the prize ... and through God become INVINCIBLE and run through our hurdles with grace and ease as though they are INVISIBLE! Run your race and believe!