We had a guest preacher at church on Sunday and his sermon was on the feeding of the 5000 and the idea of the impossible. It has made me think about the idea of impossibility and of the fact that nothing is impossible for God. I'm afraid that many may have interpreted the meaning of the sermon incorrectly because I think much of the time, those of us living comfortable, middle-class lives have very little concept of what impossible really is.
Our culture does not accept the idea of the impossible. I don't mean in the modern, miracles aren't possible, rational thinking way (though that is a part of it), but because of our high need of control. We only do things that are possible, that we can have control over, that make sense, and are fiscally sensible. We are all too busy controlling our lives to allow any possibility of impossibility into them. I would venture to say, when asked what seems impossible in someone's life, the answer has more to do with paying bills than it does with doing outlandish things for God's kingdom.
I fear we have lost our collective imaginations of what could be possible and settle instead for the mundane, and dare I say it, boring. We focus on what is practical instead of dreaming of what is impossible. And by doing this we completely shut God out of the equation. God doesn't need to do miracles in our lives because there is no need for them.
This need for the miraculous, to see that God is still at work in the world, that He is still in the miracle business, is ever present in our lives whether we know it or not. We sit up and listen carefully when someone shares an experience that could be called miraculous. We admire those people who do follow God's call and do crazy things. We want there to be more than just the life we are experiencing. We toy with idea of breaking out of our comfortable existence, but it's scary. So we tell ourselves that surely the miracle we just heard about was a bit exaggerated. That the family who sold everything and went on the mission field was always a bit loony and it was a completely irresponsible thing to do. That life just doesn't work that way and we slowly bring our foot back from the edge of the boat and sit back down where it's safe.
It's also not the place to find out if God really can take care of impossible. It's hard to find out if Jesus can help you walk on water if you're still sitting in the boat.
I'm pretty sure that everyone, if they have been listening to God at all, has some crazy dream in the back of their head that they consider either too scary, or impractical, or ridiculous to even consider. I know there are ideas in the back of my head that I try not to dwell on too hard. But I will also say, as someone who has plunged into a crazy idea three times now, it gets easier each time. The water can be a bit shocking and the drowning feeling isn't fun, but it's all worth it because you realize that God really is still in the miracle business, things that feel impossible turn out not to be, and the motivation to keep your eyes upon Jesus is pretty strong.
Dare to imagine what would happen if the impossible were possible.