“Do Not Fear, Only Believe!”Fr. Barnabas Powell
It’s easy to say “That’s impossible” or “It’ll never work” or “That goal or dream is just unrealistic.” It’s easy to say those things. Why do you think we dreamers hear them so often?
I never will forget when I started talking about doing the video teaching tool “A Journey to Fullness.” There were plenty of folks who said “Great idea, father. We’re with you!” That is until I also told them that I am committed to doing this project in a professional manner with high production values and compelling design. Then the “impossibles” started coming out. But it only got worse when I told them what our initial budget was going to be! Oh boy, now the “impossibles” multiplied like rabbits!
Why is that? Well, I’m sure there are lots of reason. Maybe some folks just don’t see the value in what you’re trying to do or maybe they don’t value it as much as you do. Maybe it’s because they are afraid of failure so they never try difficult tasks themselves and they don’t want to feel guilty when they see someone else go for it. Or (and this has to be there as well) maybe I’m really crazy to do this!
But what concerns me the most is when the “impossibles” are rooted in a lack of faith. These folks just pay lip service to their belief in the God Who spoke the universe into existence. These “impossibles” are based in hearts that truly doubt whether God is as great as the Church declares He is. And these “impossibles” are their own worst enemy because they always live below what “could be” because they simply can’t bring themselves to dare to believe! How sad.
Look at our Gospel Lesson today in Mark 5:22-24, 35-43; 6:1:
At that time, there came to Jesus one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and seeing him, he fell at his feet, and besought him, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.” And he went with him. While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” But ignoring what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. When they came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, he saw a tumult, and people weeping and wailing loudly. And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why do you make a tumult and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside, and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi”; which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” And immediately the girl got up and walked (she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement.
They were overcome with amazement. They laughed at Him. They were gripped by “impossibles” and their small imagination; their small faith meant they could not bring themselves to believe that grief could be turned to joy! And because they were gripped by “impossibles” they were “put outside” and were left to be amazed instead of made whole!
It’s easy to say “it’s impossible” and the truth is it may not always happen like we believe it should, but, for those of us who already say we believe in God as Creator, we believe in the miraculous Birth of our Lord Jesus, and we believe He rose from the dead and ascended into heaven and will come again in glory “to judge the living and the dead” well, “impossible” simply shouldn’t infect our hearts, ever! And the only way to protect our hearts from the “impossibles” is to dare to live as if all the impossible things we already believe are completely true!
Today, are there “impossibles” keeping you from living the free life Christ has given you? Do you live gripped by the doubts and the mediocrity of the “impossibles?” Perhaps it’s time to dare to put the “impossibles” outside and move forward with the glorious joy of a purposeful Orthodox life that embraces the Resurrected Christ and all HE makes possible.
P.S. It’s not “impossible” for us to reach our goal to create this Video Project if we all pull together! Keep up with our progress, and participate yourself by visiting and sharing our “A Journey to Fullness” Video Project Funding site! Thanks for helping me put the “impossibles” outside!