In Others’ Words: Parade Elephants
It’s funny how something someone says to you stays with you. It can seem the most innocuous statement, and yet you never forget it.
Back when we were a military family, my husband and I and our first three kiddos were stationed in Turkey. I always joke that the option of living in Turkey must have been in the small print of my husband’s contract with the air force. I had to pull out a map to find out where Turkey was — and when I figured it out, my stress level spiked.
During our two years there, we were in a Bible study with other families who became life-long friends. Joe Cook and his wife were part of that Bible study. I don’t remember why Joe said what he said to me. Maybe I was talking about being a young mom of three children under the age of five and having too many things to do. No matter why he said what he said, to this day I remember his words:
Don’t wash the elephants who aren’t in the parade.
In other words, do what is necessary — and ignore the other stuff.
Joe Cook is a very wise man.
One practical way I started applying this? When people came over, I cleaned the parts of the house they would see … and shut the doors to my kiddos’ rooms — and my room too. Why? Because those “elephants” weren’t in the parade. My living room, my family room, my kitchen and dining room? All were elephants in the parade and so I needed to “wash ’em.” But the other ones I could ignore.
I learned to figure out what was important … and what wasn’t … and stopped trying to drag all the elephants into the parade every single day.
In Your Words: How do you figure out which “elephants” are in the parade from one day to the next? Has anyone ever shared a word of wisdom with you that has stayed with you? I’d love for you to share it with us today!
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