I can only speak for myself on this last day of 2017, but this year has been a tough slog. I feel as if I’ve been living in a dimension that is unfamiliar, foreign and strange to the one I had known — for all its ups and downs — for 60-plus years.
Footing that was fairly solid has become like quicksand and what was normal has been turned upside down in many respects. Maintaining sanity in a nation where some people have either turned off their brains or never had any to begin with makes you question your core, if only for a moment.
That moment has come and passed for me. The purveyors of the real fake news (would that be an oxymoron?) I’ve learned to recognize only so I can call out their lies and record them for posterity, and otherwise to ignore them. Same for those who listen and believe their endless drivel.
Enough of 2017, what of 2018? My pastor Tolan Morgan, challenged the congregation at Fellowship Bible Baptist Church during the Dec. 17 service, and I’m going to challenge each of you. I’m not a right reverend and will not go into his sermon. You can do that yourself at fbbshome.org. However, I will repeat his challenge for next year.
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To give the Cliff Notes version, Pastor Morgan said to pray for God to do in our lives the impossible. He asked the question: Why should God answer prayers that are in our own power to answer. He then went through the Bible, from Daniel and Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, and said that if they had had fire protective garb, God would’ve had no need to rescue them from Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace. If the woman who came to Jesus with an issue of blood had been a doctor, she could have diagnosed herself and fixed her issue, but Jesus healed her simply because of her faith and by her touching the hem of his garment.
Morgan gave more examples, but you get his point. Why ask for the possible that rests within each of us. Ask for the impossible that only rest only with him who is all powerful.
So in 2018, I’m going to ask for the impossible. I’m going to stretch, not just for myself, but following Paul’s example that Pastor Morgan gave, I’m going to pray the impossible for others.
I don’t know yet what others will need, but I do know what issues I’m challenged with. They aren’t unique. They are many of the same issues other folks my age are facing. The world is moving faster and I have to continue to prod myself to master new skills; to push forward and not be left in the technological backwaters. I have to keep telling myself, with each new piece of software McClatchy dumps on me, “I can do this.”
I also have to keep forcing myself off the couch. It’s so comfortable there. My wife continually challenges me to get up and get out and I really don’t have a good excuse beside being lazy. Can’t complain about gym costs anymore, all the city recreation centers, Memorial and Rosa Jackson and soon Bloomfield, have fully equipped workout areas with an array of exercise equipment — and it’s all free.
After working out at Memorial a couple of weeks ago, I walked into the gym and picked up a basketball for the first time in long-term memory. Rusty would not be the word to describe my shot, which in the past — now distant — was pretty good.
Some of this might sound like New Year’s Resolutions, but they really aren’t. However, most don’t qualify for the “impossible” category pastor preached about. I’ve got those “impossible” prayers, too. I have diabetes. It’s under control and I want it to stay that way. In 2017, I started having a few issue with my feet. We are going to handle that in 2018.
The other impossibles have nothing to do with me, Continued vitality for my in-laws. Protection and health for my only surviving brother. Strength for my wife and my FSIL (Favorite Sister In-Law). Health and strength for my children, grandchildren and great grands and reconnection with my first born.
I can’t make any of those things happen, but I know he can.