10 deeper, more helpful person than I would have been otherwise.” 5 Choose to See Yourself as an Overcomer Life does send great disappointments, but people are greater than their disappointments. See yourself as an overcomer. See yourself as one who can rise above disappointment. Our selfimage strongly determines what we become. The story is told of a fabulously wealthy king who had a son whom he adored. The boy was bright, handsome and perfect in every way— except one: the youth had a severely hunched back. This deeply saddened the king, so he offered a huge reward for the person who could heal the boy’s back. Wise men and women with good ideas traveled to the palace from all over the kingdom. But, months and months passed without a solution. Then one day a tiny, elderly woman happened to be visiting the kingdom and heard about the problem. “I don’t want your reward,” said the tiny, elderly woman, “but I do have your answer.” This was her advice: “In the center of
11 the courtyard you must construct a sculpture— an exact replica of your dear son, with one exception: its back must be straight and lovely in appearance. That’s all. Pray and trust God for the healing.” With that offered, the woman left the kingdom and the king’s artisans set to work. Soon a beautiful marble sculpture sat in the center of the courtyard. Every day, as the little boy played, he was in the presence of the figure. He grew to admire it and came to realize that it was a replica of himself. Each day the prince gazed lovingly at the sculpture, gradually identifying with the tall, erect person it presented. Bit by bit, the boy’s back straightened. About a year later, as the king watched his son frolicking in the courtyard, he suddenly noticed the prince’s back was totally healed. The young boy’s identification with the marble sculpture had been so complete that he believed it and saw himself as he could be—straight and tall. The lesson in that story: our life is what our thoughts make of it, so we must choose to see ourselves as overcomers; people who rise above their disappointments.