MUSIC, LEADERSHIP, CULTURE… and humor (sometimes)

cruisin’ down the road in my African Impala

not an African Impala

not an African Impala

I attended a great arts conference last week and was rocked many times over by incredible insights and moments of inspiration.  One of the speakers at this gathering was Efrem Smith, a dynamic, brilliant, and hilarious (to say the least) artist/preacher-man who got everyone up out of their seats by the end of his talk.  One must note also that his name, “Efrem” is effin’ awesome.

He shared about the African Impala and offered these facts:

When frightened or startled the whole impala herd starts leaping about in order to confuse their predator. They can jump distances more than 9 meters (30 ft) and 2.5 meters (8 ft) high. (via

this is what Im talking about - the African Impala

this is what I'm talking about - the African Impala

I don’t know if that just registered with you but that is a freakishly amazing and athletic animal!  This thing can jump 8 feet high and 30 feet in distance… in a single bound!  Just picture Bambi on steroids with the assistance of a trampoline and you pretty much have the Impala.

Despite having this incredible ability, the Impala is strangely held captive behind a mere 3-foot wall in any given zoo.  Efrem talked about how he found this completely baffling.  How does an animal with the ability to jump a staggering height and distance remain trapped behind a relatively tiny wall?  It makes no sense at all.  Upon further investigation (he probably asked the zookeeper), it turns out that the Impala will only jump when it can see where it will land.  Because the Impala cannot see what’s on the other side, he will be stuck and held in captivity.  In other words, the Impala has no faith. As I realized where Efrem was going with this analogy, I started to tear up.

How many of us are like the African Impala? We have incredible ability and talents that have been given to us.  We have hopes and dreams that have been formed in us since we were young.  Some of us will never be liberated because we remain trapped behind a wall because we are afraid, reluctant, or too comfortable to jump.

All we have to do is jump.

Let’s not forget who we are.  We are Liberated Impalas.


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