ARTICLE – The Elephant Rope

Have you heard the story of the elephant rope?

While walking through an elephant camp, a man noticed that the elephants weren’t being caged or chained. The only thing stopping them from escaping the camp was a piece of rope tied to one of their legs.

He was completely confused as to why the elephants did not simply use their strength to break the rope and escape the camp. The elephants could have easily done so, but they didn’t even try. He asked a nearby trainer why these elephants never tried to escape and just stood there.

The trainer replied; “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.” The only reason that the elephants weren’t breaking free and escaping from the camp was that over time they adopted the belief that it just wasn’t possible.

In the Church, it’s not uncommon for the faithful to believe they can’t evangelize. Either because they do not have enough knowledge or because they think it is the task of clerics and religious. Some also tend to think that sharing their faith with others would be a form of proselytizing. But to follow God’s calling to make disciples, we must break free from these thoughts that bind us and prevent us from proclaiming God’s love. The time has come for us to believe that sharing our faith can make a huge difference in the lives of people around us.

Pierre-Alain Giffard

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