Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Dwelling in Possibility

“With God, all things are possible.”
—Matthew 19:26

If there is one gift I could ask for this coming year, I would ask for the gift of possibility. One of the things I love about working in a university is being surrounded by people for whom anything is still possible—not just as some far-off thought but something you could do now, this summer even!

It is much harder to believe in possibility as I get older. Habits are set, relationships settled, budgets are tight, and in all those things and more I realize what is not possible. As the years go by, I tick off the things that are no longer possible: I will never be an Olympic champion. I will not likely have any more babies. I will never know what it’s like to live in town with people I grew up with. I will never own two cars.

Not all of this recognition is bad. With the narrowing of possibilities also comes the ability to bring more intense focus to a few deeply loved things. There is a spiritual side to believing in possibility too. Because the minute I give up on possibility, I give up on the power of God to make all things new. There is a fine balance between cynicism, a Pollyanna-like naivete, and the life of faith, which holds both the knowledge of self that wisely says “this is not possible” and the hopefulness of the heart that so wants to believe “yes, it is, it still beautifully is possible.”

So if I have a resolution this new year, it’s to believe, a little more than I do now, that all things are possible with God. Even helping me to believe that is true.


Mike Ferber said...

You can totally still be an Olympic athlete Rebecca - never give up! :)

Rebecca Warren said...

Well good to know that the Olympics aren't ruled out!! Thanks, Mike!

Wenda said...

Hey, is possibility your word for the year? For many years, whoever we are spending New Year's Eve or New Year's Day with, we try to sum up the last year with one word and on the flip side, one word to express what we anticipate for the year to come. So if you were to play along, would your word for 2009 be "possibility"? I picked "remain", although in my heart I'm really leaning towards "promise".

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