What’s your impossible?
I started thinking on this subject a while back, of course, I was on a run as that’s where all deep thoughts start for me. I had just DNF’d (Did Not Finish) my second attempt at 100 miles. This time due to vertigo which came from an ear problem that I probably should have had fixed months before. As I ran, I kept asking myself if running 100 miles for somebody like me who is not built like a runner, never ran before eight years ago and still not built like a runner despite being about seventy pounds lighter than when I began running.
Then, of course, I began thinking about everything I believed were impossible. It’s impossible to ever get out of debt because just as you start down that path something traumatizing happens and you’re right back at the beginning. It’s impossible to ever be promoted from the position I am in now despite the incredible success my location has shown because I’m just no good at kissing ass. It’s impossible to ever replace my income as a writer and speaker because nobody knows me. It’s impossible to tell my wife just how much I love and appreciate her. My impossibilities seem longer than that daunting 100-mile race.
We All Have a List of Impossibilities
I’m sure if you are honest with yourself that your list of what’s impossible is just as long as mine and just like me you have every reason why you should stop trying.
This is the point where all the great motivational authors and speakers start throwing out the phrases, we’ve all heard a million times before.
Quotes To Motivate Us
“You can if you think you can.” No idea who first shared this.
“Virtually nothing is impossible in this world if you just put your mind to it and maintain a positive attitude.” Lou Holtz
“Nothing is impossible to a willing heart.” John Heywood
“if you work hard, nothing is impossible.” Prabhu Deva
“Future orientation is combined with a notion and expectation of progress, and nothing is impossible.” Alan Dundes
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” Nelson Mandela
“Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” Matthew 19:26 New Living Translation
When I read quotes like these, I am motivated, I begin to believe the impossible is possible.
Life Gets in the Way
Then life happens. The garage door falls off the track on the coldest day of the year. One of my largest contractors decides he is taking a year off and four years of hard work go out the door. I get into an argument with my wife over something and I can’t remember why I was arguing. Then my cat barfs on the bed right as I am slipping under the sheets.
Life gets in the way and our impossible comes rushing right back into our heads and we begin to believe that climbing the highest mountain isn’t worth it and maybe we should shoot for walking slowly around the block instead.
Something really curious happened this day out on my run though. It was a difficult run. It seemed like the wind was blowing from every direction I turned. The relentless, cold wind was making the run almost…well, almost impossible. When that thought struck me, I looked down at my feet and realized something.
My feet were still moving forward even though in my mind this run had become impossible. What kept my feet running forward? What was that secret ingredient that kept them moving forward? Was it just a base thought? Did my feet just want to propel my body to the warm car?
What Can Get Us From Impossible to Possible?
That’s when this really vague verse jumped in my head and I didn’t even know the bookmark at first. I apologize in advance if my using Bible verses to get my point across offends you. Please try and overlook where it’s coming from and recognize the freedom of the words.
Zechariah was an Old Testament prophet, one of the really minor ones. You can find his words in the second to the last book of the Old Testament and before you go there. This isn’t one of those rosy, everything is all right prophets. No, Zechariah is one of those prophets we just don’t want to hear.
If you’re brave enough to last this far, you’ll find a pretty cool story in chapter eight. To kind of set the scene, God is speaking to Zechariah after the Israelites have been in exile from Jerusalem for over seventy years. The Israelites have heard so many prophecies of God restoring them to their homeland and it hasn’t happened that by now this is their biggest impossible. They are not going to be restored to Jerusalem and they are going to live in exile for eternity.
Zechariah is coming off one of his more unpleasant messages to the Israelites about their fasting habit so the message in chapter eight is rather unexpected. God speaks of his passion for Jerusalem and paints the picture of His people walking the streets of Jerusalem and then you get to Zechariah 8:6 and you get this message, “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: All this may seem impossible to you now, a small remnant of God’s people. But is it impossible for me?” God establishes the what’s impossible for man is possible for God theme and we could stop here but that’s not the verse that set me free to believe that maybe, just maybe, my list of what’s impossible could actually be possible.
“Be strong and finish the task!” Zechariah 8:9
The rest of the chapter is equally motivating and inspirational but that little exclamation point at the end of “be strong and finish the task!” is what has stood out to me for years. I’m not going to be one of those motivational author or speakers who is going to tell you that you can make your impossible possible. No, I have one message and one message only for you.
BE STRONG AND FINISH THE TASK! That exclamation point is no accident. They don’t occur much in the Bible so when you see one, it’s best to pay attention. Somebody is trying to get your attention and draw you to something that can set you free.
What’s going to set you free here? Simple, because KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) is best.
What you are going to end up being isn’t up to you. What you can control is being strong and finishing every task set before you. The accomplishment of finishing that one task is what is going to propel your feet toward the nice warm car on a frigid, windy day. The accomplishment of finishing that task is going to propel you to being debt free. The accomplishment of finishing that one task is going to propel you to being a famous author with book sales beyond your wildest beliefs. The accomplishment of finishing that one task is going to propel you to a lasting relationship with your significant other.
It’s not up to you to make the impossible possible. It is up to you to be strong and finish the task.
Can you do that one task? Can you stay strong and see the task through to completion?
If you can, then you have your answer to your impossible.