If you sat down quietly to listen for and to God (or at least “the small still voice inside”) and after awhile, a series of words presented themselves to you, and the first word was “possibility”, what would you do with it?
If you took “possibility” to be a word of direction, where would it point you? If you google “possibility” and other variations (“the power of possibility”, “possibility thinking”, etc.), you get websites like what you’d expect: lots of “positive” thinkers who are keeping up the faith that the human being has the capacity and potential to do just about anything he sets his mind to. It’s easy for us more serious folks to frown and look down our noses at the happy folk who seem cheerier than is good for them, but truth to tell, I’m terribly curious about the power of thinking about life from an upside and strength point of view.
I suppose the world needs smiley faces and sour pusses, and I’ve contributed my share of both over the years. But it strikes me that even the most casual observation suggests that folks who think in terms of possibility tend to move forward, get things done, and contribute an abundance of productive energy. And anecdotally from my own life, I can’t see that thinking about the terrible things that are probably going to happen, along with obsessive thoughts about what a terrible person I am, and how I’m not talented enough, good enough, blah, blah, blah–fill in your own lousy conversation with yourself–has ever been helpful. At all.
So for the moment, realizing that sin, hubris, failure, ignorance, disease, foolishness, and limitations are all in play, I’m going to be doing some reading and thinking (as I work on Lost Cause, Back of House, and other theatre projects) on the idea of possibility. I’d love to hear about the books I need to read, the websites I need to visit, the conversations I need to be having. Let me know…
May it be done to you according to your faith…
One Reply to “Possibility as a First Word”
The New Testament (“in Christ all things hold together”); anything by C. S. Lewis; “Walking on Water”, by Madeleine L’Engel; “The Power of Positive Thinking”, by Norman Vincent Peale; “Say ‘Yes’ to God”, by Anna Mow; “The Greatest Thing in the World”, by Henry Drummond; the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.; “The Mature Mind”, by Harry Overstreet; ; “your god is Too Small”, by J. B (?)Phillips ; books by Richard Foster, Dallas Willard, Eugene Peterson. All these books and authors pointed me away from legalism and to faith in the Good News, the only true basis that I know of for positive thinking. God bless.