TD Jakes - The Heart of the Matter
There are some things that I want you to see about the giraffe. The giraffe, zarafah was the original name. It's Arabic, zarafah, probably originally African. The giraffe is called giraffe because it literally means fast walker. I'm a fast walker. I'm a fast walker. I could move. For a short distance, the giraffe can move about 40 miles an hour. That's rolling for something walking. You couldn't go 40 miles an hour if I was chasing you with an uzi. You'd be trying real hard, but the giraffe is a fast walker. It can move from here, to there, to the other place. It's a fast walker. It moves really, really, really fast.
And what I want you to understand, I'm using the giraffe to discuss who you are. How many fast walkers do we have in here? Now, I'm not talking about fast walkers like at the gym on the treadmill. Have you ever gone to the gym and gotten on the treadmill beside somebody who was showing off? Don't you just hate those people, that you just go in the gym and you're trying to do your little workout, and they make you have to amp up just so you don't look bad. I hate those people. And what I hate worse is when they're walking fast or running fast and not sweating. At least sweat. Don't be talking on the phone and you're outrunning me, too. And you feel embarrassed because you're behind.
Some of you are coupled up with fast walkers, fast thinkers, fast movers, and there you are moving through life like this. And at first it's okay 'cause you say, "I'm doing my own thing," but at a certain point you start to really get frustrated 'cause you look at somebody you started with and they are way, as my grandmother would say, "They way down yonder", and you're still up here. And about 40 or so, it kicks it real good that you are way behind. Yeah, I don't know why it doesn't kick in until you're out of time almost and then you say, "I should've been moving fast". This is your year to be a fast walker. Tell your neighbor, "I'm fixing to pick up the pace around here".
Now, I'm fixing to pick up the pace. I'm gonna start moving on the level that I'm thinking, and not moving on the level that makes you comfortable. I'm getting ready to redeem the time I lost. I may make mistakes, but they're not gonna be the same old mistakes over and over again. I'm getting ready to do some fast walk up in here. I'm going to the next dimension. Are you with me? I can't hear you.
Now, you have to understand, the reason the giraffe can walk fast is that he's built for it. Is your life a reflection of what you're built for or is it a reflection of your situation? Because frustration comes when you are built to do 40 but you are stuck in a 5 mile an hour zone. When you have the potential, and the legs, and the leg gait to really move out, and you're fooling around with somebody who's going like this... after awhile, the Bible says it this way, "How can two walk together save they agree"? It becomes really, really frustrating. Or when you're a fast walker and you're stuck in a small cage.
When you have the potential to be a general manager but you're stuck flipping hamburgers, it becomes a real frustrating thing. It's nothing wrong with flipping hamburgers. Even managers flip hamburgers. But it's one thing to flip hamburgers and another thing to be stuck on a level that's beneath the way you think, and you're not eating on the level of your vision, oh my god, and your frustration is a direct derivative of your ability to eat on the level of your thinking. Am I helping anybody yet?
The giraffe is 16 to 20 feet tall. That's tall, 16 to 20 feet tall. That's a big joker. That joker's up there. Look, can you imagine what life looks like from up there? To be that tall, to be that tall, his neck is 9 feet long. He's got a long neck. God built him with a long neck and gave him long legs. The body is not that big. The body's not that big, but what's really big is the neck. The neck and the legs gives him the ability to see on another level. He's able to see on another level. His feet are on the ground. His feet's on the same ground as the rabbit, and the turtle, and everything else that's crawling around. His feet's right down with the rest of us, but his head is so far up in the air that he can see things that other people don't see.
If he needs the affirmation of the things on the ground, he's going to be frustrated looking in the air, because the stuff on the ground cannot see... Are you hearing what I'm saying to you? So, while his feet are in one dimension, his head is in another dimension, and he's eating vision and vittles. He's eating on the level that he's seeing. He's eating on the level that he's seeing. He's eating on the level that he's seeing. This is your year to eat on the level that you're seeing, to maximize your opportunity, to step into your divine purpose. I don't care. I don't care how much you make. I don't care where you went to school. I don't care what your mother's name is.
Some of you have got a long neck. Your feet might be down here, your feet might have started over here, but you got a long neck to see into the next dimension. And it's high time for you to eat on the level that you're seeing. Am I talking to anybody today? Am I talking to anybody today? Okay, are you with me so far? We doing pretty good? So we've learned a few things. We've learned that we're meant to be fast walkers, okay? Much like the giraffe, many of us are fast walkers. We've got the potential, the muscle mass to do more.
When you've got the muscles to do more and the situation to do less, you are imprisoned. When you got the muscles to love on this level, but you're in a situation where the love is on that level, you're in prison. When you've got the muscles to be progressive on this level, but the situation is only challenging on this level, you're in prison. And sometimes you have to be in a prison for a while because of circumstances, but to live your whole life beneath the highest and best expression of yourself is a tragedy. I'm not trying to compete with you, you, you, you, or you. I'm trying to be everything that I was created to be. And if I can see up higher, I wanna eat up higher, I wanna think up higher, I wanna move up higher.
There are giraffes and there are turtles. They occupy the same space. The turtle is geographically on the same location as the giraffe is. Neither one of them are lying. The turtle is eating on the level of his vision and the giraffe is eating on the level of his vision. And whenever turtles comment on giraffes, you cannot trust their comments because their comments are a reflection of their worldview. I don't know who I'm talking to today, but somebody in this room, you're paying far too much attention to the turtles around you. Pick your head up in the air and start eating on the level that my God.... I feel like God is trying to tell you something today.
Touch ten people and tell them, "Leave those turtles alone". Leave those turtles alone. Leave them alone. Leave those turtles alone. Leave those turtles. Leave those turtles alone. My God, who am I talking to today? Leave those turtles alone. They're always gonna have time to comment. They're always gonna be in your business. They're always gonna give you a critique and say what you should've done, and what you should've said, and how you should've acted. Turtles have time to do that. You've got to follow your instincts to the level of living, and thinking, and functioning on the same level of your visions.
Giraffes eat from the tops of the trees because they can. Because they can. You oughta stand as tall as you can. You oughta eat as high as you can. You oughta move as gracefully as you can. Or you're gonna be stuck moving slow like the turtle when you could have been walking at 40 miles an hour. I want you to see, now, I'm gonna show you, can I show you one more thing, y'all? Okay, okay, I'm gonna show you one more thing. Now, what makes the giraffe move faster than the turtle, even when they start in the same space, and even run faster than the man, is that he's built for it. He's built for it. He's got the inclinations, and the instincts, and the structure to accommodate his possibilities.
Part of your purpose, the clues to your purpose is in what you're built for, whether you can or cannot take pressure, whether you can or cannot be in the light, whether you can or cannot work well by yourself, whether you can or cannot interact with people, manage, and develop. Some of that is wired into you, and as you follow your instincts, you'll find where you fit. The turtle cannot see that high or move that fast, and it's not really his legs that are the problem. It's his heart. The turtle's heart is the size of my thumb, so it won't pump blood fast enough to fuel flight enough, to move quickly enough, to understand why the giraffe is so thirsty. Why does the giraffe need this?
People go, "They don't need all of that. It's not necessary". Well, the reason it's not necessary for you is that you only have to fuel a thumb-sized heart. The man, on the other hand, has a 9 to 12-ounce heart. Bring this stuff out here. The man has a 9 to 12-ounce heart, and it's so much bigger than the turtle's that it will fuel blood so he can function on all of these different levels. Y'all trying to see what I'm gonna do. That's it, y'all just trying, see, what I'm trying to do is make you understand that this is a heart thing and not just a head thing. Now, the Bible says, "Out of the heart flows the issues of life". Out of the heart flows the issues of life.
Oh my God. Out of the heart. Now, when the Bible says "heart", it's not even talking about the thumpy thumpy thing in your chest. It's really talking about your inner spirit, your capacity to absorb, handle, and manage situations. It's not a head thing. You can have degree enough to do it but not have heart enough to do it. Do you have the capacity of heart to love on that level, to live on that level, to think on that level, to be on that level? Is your heart or the narrowness thereof some clue that you are over your head, beyond your boundaries, and out of your parameters?
You can't have a thumb-sized heart and run 40 miles an hour. It will burst. Your capacity will only allow you to move slow. So, for all the turtles in the room, nothing wrong with being a turtle until you start commenting on giraffes. Excuse me, you can't run a barber shop. You can't run a cupcake stand. And there you are making these sloppy cupcakes, talking about, "What they need to do down there Potter's House is"? I'm not hating on your cupcakes until you're commenting on way up here.
Have you ever gotten a turtle comment on a giraffe opportunity? Don't hate the turtles and don't drag the turtles. If they don't want to go, no matter how much it hurts, let 'em go. Because how people respond, they always respond according to their capacity, which is a heart thing. Turtle-sized heart. The man has... let me show you something. Bring it on. Give me this first one. This isn't a great illustration because I really needed a smaller bag of flour, but this was the smallest one they had.
The human heart is about a little less than half the size of this, okay? So, humans can fuel more capacity than turtles. Hold that. The giraffe's heart is exactly this size. That's the size, 25 pounds. That's how big. That's how big. That's how big the capacity of the heart of the giraffe is to fuel him. When he gets ready to run, this is what's thumping. Boom boom boom boom, boom boom boom boom. And so, he can stretch his neck without fainting. God gave him a big heart 'cause he had a big neck, 'cause he had a big vision, so he could eat on a big level. And the more he eats on the tops of the trees, the more the heart goes "Boom boom boom boom, boom boom boom boom, boom boom boom boom," and the faster the legs run, and the more he can do.
I am telling you, it is not about your talent. It is not about who you know and don't know. It is not about who likes you and who doesn't like you. It is about your capacity. It is about your heart. Out of the heart flows the issues of life. And I am telling you, until you say, "Create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within me, and fix my heart so that I don't miss my opportunity. Because if I have a heart like this and I find myself in an opportunity like this, you're gonna have to create in me more capacity, pureness of heart, pureness of heart, so that I can fuel all that I was created to do or I'm gonna have to give up the chance and live with the turtles".
That's why I come to church. That's why I serve the Lord. Because the God that I serve is the only one who can create in me the heart I need for the opportunities that I have so I can function in the capacity that I need to function in, and I can live in this jungles, and these squirrels, and these rabbits, and these snakes, and these foxes, and these possums, and these skunks, and all of the predators, lions, and tigers, bears. I have to learn how to live with the snakes. I can't kill every snake. I can't respond to every turtle. I have to hold my head up, my back straight, and keep moving according to the grace of God.
"I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those. I press toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God". And when you see me arrive to the end of my journey, understand it wasn't because I knew the right people. It wasn't because I had all the right degrees. It wasn't because I went to all the right parties. It was a matter of my heart that made my opportunities. All the big-hearted people give God a praise!