December 21, 2005
I have mixed feelings about a theology framed by "possibility thinking." On the front side, I believe that a mind open to possibilities sees what others do not see. As an optimist, I relish in what can be done more than in the reasons why something can't be done.
My reluctance with this theology is that it turns sin into "negative thinking" and re-crafts the fallen nature into a psychological disability. That is a huge mistake. By so doing, we end up Americanizing the Gospel and shaping it into a "think and grow rich" mindset. There may be underlying evidence that such a mindset "works," but does that make it the same as being filled with the faith of the Spirit? I wonder.
With that disclaimer, I am drawn by Kierkegaard's insight. I have one life to live, and I want that life to count. At the sunset of my life, when I will watch wheelchairs roll by me in the nursing home, what will I look back on? Flip that out into eternity, will I see that the possibilities God put in my way became realities?
Let's not be caught in personal comparisons to the "greats" of this or past ages. The issue is, what is the possibility at hand? A child to lead? A letter to write? A word to speak? A mission to support? A student in need of encouragement? A senior in need of a visit? A sacrifice to make so an idea might be born?
Leaders by nature lead others. My definition of leadership is the stewardship of authority and resources in the doing of good. We may believe "God does not want it" when the noise in the inner ear is that of fear. Let God stop us from moving forward if he so chooses, but let's not stymie the possibility of moving something into actuality because of our inertia or lack of faith. Instead lets agree to arrive in eternity having lived out the possibilities.
Triune God, creator of all that is, Saviour and renewer of life, help me shed the garments of fear and take on the garments of faith so that I and those with whom I work—those impacted by my vocation, mission and calling—will be accelerated in knowledge of you, compelled by the possibilities of your own self. Amen.
"It is a dangerous business to arrive in eternity with possibilities which one himself has prevented from become actualities. Possibility is a hint from God. A person must follow it... if God does not want it, then let him hinder it; the person must not hinder it himself."