Monday, September 27, 2010

"Be Opened"

Jesus battled a lot of stubborn ignorance from religious leaders who should have been the most willing to see the possibilities of God in his work.

Other people said, “Wow, did you see how Jesus healed the blind man, the lame woman, that deaf guy, and the demon possessed child? How wonderful! How amazing! Praise God!” However, the religious leaders complained that he didn’t wash his hands correctly, didn’t fast like the others, and did his healing on the wrong day of the week.

Instead of opening their minds to new possibilities, they tried to shut him down.

We’re not so different today. Most of us want to keep things the same--the way we’ve always understood them to be. I’m fine as long as no one makes me change or consider that God is different than I was taught as a child.

Those kinds of limitations make me irrelevant to society, out of tune with God, and just plain boring.

It also frustrates Jesus.

When Jesus healed the deaf and mute man, he placed his fingers in the man’s ears and mouth and said with a deep sigh, “Ephphatha,” which means “Be opened.” (Mark 7:34). I think he was speaking to more people than just that man. He was speaking to everyone around him and to those of us who read his words now.

Faith requires a certain amount of openness in order to consider things that aren’t normally considered. It’s interesting that so many of us have gotten it backwards. Our religious convictions can lead us to shut down our thinking to where we never entertain new ideas.

Perhaps Christ’s greatest blessings are waiting for us to become open enough to receive them.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Possible Dream

To dream ... the impossible dream ...
To fight ... the unbeatable foe ...
To bear ... with unbearable sorrow ...
To run ... where the brave dare not go ...
To right ... the unrightable wrong ...
To love ... pure and chaste from afar ...
To try ... when your arms are too weary ...
To reach ... the unreachable star ...
                           --lyrics by Joe Darion

I have loved this song all my life. I saw a scene from “Man of La Mancha” on the TV the other day and I started singing with the music. I will always love it, but I no longer quite believe in the words. I started writing some of my own thoughts which will never be set to music, but they are mine and I share them with you:

I don’t believe in the impossible dream.
I believe in doing things that people say are impossible;
In trying things that appear impossible.

I believe in dreaming audacious, ambitious,
     outrageous dreams
But I do not wish to glorify magnificent failure.
I aim for unbelievable triumph.

I still believe in being daring, taking risks, and being bold.
I still believe in nobility, idealism, generosity,
     courage, and higher purpose.
I believe in dying for love ones and noble causes.
I believe in trying again
When you don’t think you have anything left.

I believe there’s a time for going for broke,
for risking it all,
for laying it all on the line.
And I believe one can come back from utter loss and devastation.

Scientists and philosophers have regularly
been proven wrong  about the limitations
They place on the universe.

I believe in possibilities.
I believe there are more things in heaven and earth
Than are dreamt of in human philosophy.

I reach for things beyond my grasp
Because I don’t believe they're unreachable.

I dream the possible dream.

"I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
                                                     --Mark 11:22-24