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Fraidy Cat

Lowell Fillmore

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Remember that you can do it if you think you can, and you can’t do it if you think you can’t.

One who thinks or says, “I can’t,” denies his God-given power and ability. You are never beaten till you admit it. You have reserve power and intelligence that you can call out of your inner nature by saying “I can.”

Our Siamese cat’s experience may point a lesson to some of us. She is an agile cat and can climb trees rapidly, jump from a chair to a table, and from the landing on the stairs to a hard floor six feet below. I have seen her do it. But at times she becomes frightened and forgets her ability. She may climb a tree and sit in a fork a few feet above ground afraid to come down.

Several days ago she left in the morning and was gone all day. We started a search for her in the evening. After looking over quite a little territory in the vicinity of our home at Unity Farm we finally heard her voice coming from somewhere down by the swimming pool. Following the sound, we spied her perched out of our reach on a high window sill of the clubhouse overlooking a small ravine. Below her, less than three feet away, was a broad ledge that she could see and that she could easily have reached in one graceful bound; and from there one more little jump would have brought her to safety. But she was afraid and would not try.

She must have sat on that window sill all day, and she was crying pitifully when we found her. For some reason she had lost her usually fearless manner and doubted her ability to jump down to that ledge. Something in her must have said, “I can’t do it.”

I found a broad plank two inches thick, and placed one end upon the window sill and the other end on the ground, but it took a deal of coaxing to get her onto this plank. It seemed as though she even doubted that the plank was strong enough to bear her weight, for she carefully put out one paw and then the other several times to see whether the plank was really solid. Finally she was encouraged by our reassuring words to creep out a few inches. After a time she did crawl slowly down to safety.

The “fraidy cat” possessed the power to free herself from her position without our help, but something within her caused her to doubt that power.

Most of us are fraidy cats at times. There may be some things we cannot do, but most of the things we are afraid to do we could do if we believed in our God-given powers. I asked a young aviator not long ago why some planes crashed in practice work. He said he thought it was often because the pilot gave up to the sudden fear that he could not control the plane. Some little thing would go wrong, which would cause him to become fearful and lose his self-possession. With a positive attitude and determination to control the situation he doubtless could have overcome the difficulty and made a safe landing.

When a person gives up to fear his wits refuse to work. When something goes wrong in your life experience remember to give yourself up to God instead of fear. The “I can’t” attitude reduces your ability and your strength, but when you say “I can” and ask God’s help, your ability will become quickened and your mind more active, because it is then open to God’s light, which reveals ways and means of doing the right things that you might not be able to think of doing when you are afraid. And best of all, you will have a feeling of security because you are being guided by an intelligence greater than your own. This method will always help you even though you are not in great danger, for it is in accord with a universal principle.

Do not give up the ship to fear, but give it to God.

Let that mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus. Christ Jesus was the greatest pilot of all. It was the mind of the Father in Him that did the mighty works through Him.

It is said that some serpents have power in their eyes to draw little animals to them, attracting and holding their attention until their will to escape is gone. I do not know from personal observation whether this is true or not, but I do know that when a person fixes his attention upon a negative condition he surrenders his will to that condition, temporarily at least. When you fix your attention upon God you surrender your will to the source of all wisdom, power, and goodness. Therefore turn your attention toward that which is good and away from that which is evil.

When something seems to go wrong with your ship of life do not allow yourself to think for one moment that all is lost. Do not give up, but hold steadily to the assurance that God is guiding your mind, your will, your eyes, your hands, and your feet, and know that He will show you how to save yourself.


SUNDAY: “I can do all things in him that strengtheneth me.”

MONDAY: Fear has no power over me, because God’s love infolds me. “Perfect love casteth out fear.”

TUESDAY: God gave me not a spirit of fearfulness, but of power and love and discipline.

WEDNESDAY: “Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

THURSDAY There is nothing to fear, for God is here.

FRIDAY: Steadfastly facing God, I shall fear no evil.

SATURDAY: “When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid; Yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.”