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An Interesting Funeral

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."1

Some time ago, a teacher in Decatur, Georgia, taught her fourth-grade students an invaluable lesson by conducting a funeral. She enthused her class because the funeral was to be conducted for an enemy—the "I can't" enemy.

"Each child was encouraged to list their 'I Can'ts': 'I can't do math.' 'I can't make any friends.' 'I can't hit a home run in softball.' 'I can't give a book report in front of the class,'" and so on.

When the teacher collected all the "I can't" lists, she put them in a box and took them with the class outside where they took turns in digging a grave. In her eulogy she said, "We have provided 'I Can't' with a final resting place and a headstone that contains his epitaph. He is survived by his brothers and sisters, 'I Can,' 'I Will,' and 'I'm Going to Right Away.' May 'I Can't' rest in peace and may everyone present pick up their lives and move forward in his absence."2

Golfer Arnold Palmer has won hundreds of trophies but apparently he never flaunts these. On his office wall is a lone framed plaque which reads:

    If you think you are beaten, you are.
    If you think you dare not, you don't.
    If you'd like to win but think you can't,
      it's almost certain you won't.
    Life's battles don't always go to
      the stronger or faster man,
    But sooner or later, the man who wins
      is the man who thinks he can.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for the abilities you have given to me. Help me to acknowledge what these are, and believe in my heart that as long as I am living in harmony with your will, I can do everything you have enabled me to do. Please deliver me from the sin of disbelief not only in you but also in myself. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Philippians 4:13 (NKJV).
2. Phillip B. Childs, "The I Can't Funeral," North Texas United Methodist Reporter, January 22, 1999. Cited on


All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.