There's an amazing line at the end of Relient K's album, Forget and Not Slow Down, which goes, "I've been convincing myself that I'm worthwhile, cause I'm worth what I'll convince myself to be..."
I remember when I was an 8 or 9 year old boy walking through the shops with my mom. I was definitely a 'special' child, mostly living in my own world. Very often, when we walked through shopping centers, I would be seeing a cricket stadium, and this walk I was doing was simply my run up to the stumps with ball in hand ready to bowl. All of a sudden, this one afternoon, an older man broke through my imagination, and with his hands on both my shoulders, I think he said to me (I'm not entirely sure of the wording as I was still trying to re-orientate myself after my stadium had so suddenly been transformed back into reality): "God is going to use you for amazing things, son!" That little encounter really affected me. I had heard it a lot from my parents, but now that a complete stranger had said it, suddenly I could really believe it. I was going to be used by God. Now all the pressure was off. I didn't have to prove to others that God was using me, because, apparently, they already knew. I just had to let God do his thing. Phew. Time to aim high.
Two weeks ago, we took two boys to go collect glasses that they needed after an optometrist had offered to donate their services to our boys. We came home with two excited kids with new glasses and a lot of attention. Attention that one of the other boys was craving. So when it came to his turn for an eye examination, as the doctor put it; "He almost deceived me, but his eyes are fine. He doesn't need glasses." Our little boy had tried to pretend he couldn't see anything in an attempt to get that attention. He was willing to fake de habilitation in substitution for attention. The doctor told him that his eyes may hurt for an hour or so because of the tests. This small little insignificant statement led to a melodramatic 18-hour insistence of near-blindness. He was calling anyone near by to come help him read anything and everything in front of him because he seemed to have managed to convince himself that his eyes were too weak to be used for near-on anything!
He chose to believe the voice in his head telling him what to do to get attention. I was amazed at his commitment, and apparent stern belief that in the course of one day he had gone from reading the tiny letters on the pages of the bible, to not even being able to read a stop-sign from up close.
I guess life really does change depending on the voices we choose to believe.