“What we need is more people who specialize in the impossible.” ~ Theodore Roethke
The impossible scares us, doesn’t it? How many times have people — parents, teachers, coaches, and others — told us that they wanted us to do something and we exclaimed, “That’s impossible!” Our exclamation may have been accompanied by fear or anxiety. Our belief that the tasks were impossible may have set us up for failure as well. Since we believed it was impossible, we could not carry out the task.
“What we need is more people who specialize in the impossible.” That statement sounds rather bold. However, it is most likely the top line on the job description of a Christian. We believe in the impossible, don’t we? We believe in resurrection from the dead. We believe in eternal life. We believe in miracles. We believe in all sorts of things that those grounded in the world would state with absolute certainty, “That’s impossible!”
Throughout the ages, people have claimed that it was impossible for God to become human. They have rejected the reality of the Incarnation. There are also those who claim that the Trinity is not possible. How can there be One God but Three Persons? There are still more who claim that resurrection and life after death are myths invented by the Church to control its people.
Our hearts tell us that those people are wrong. Our experiences tell us that God is real. Our faith challenges us to proclaim the great mystery and love of God. That is where we often falter. We look at the world around us and the hatred that it has for God. We look at all of those who espouse the values of the world and deny the values of God. We acknowledge that we have a responsibility to proclaim the Good News but we say to ourselves, “That’s impossible. There is too much opposition.”
No. It is not impossible. It is something that is done by the faithful over and over again. Will we be resented by some people for living the faith? Absolutely. Will we incur penalty and persecution for living the faith? Very likely. Can we live the faith? Is it possible? Yes.
There are many who have specialized in the impossible over the years. We call them saints. They show us that it is not only possible to live the faith, it is necessary. They have left us their example to give us courage and to act as a blueprint for those of us who look for a way to follow Jesus more faithfully.
Do what they did in their lives. You, too, can do the impossible!
FAITH ACTION: Ask God for the courage to live the faith completely this day.