“I dwell in possibility…..” -Emily Dickinson
Possibility. I’ve been thinking a lot about possibility lately. Of course, spring is the season of possibility. Look out any window and you are confronted by the possibility of the summer that is yet to be. Trees are teetering on the edge of their green fullness. Their leaves are inching out as if trying out a few dance steps before breaking into a full production number. Flowers are reaching up toward the now warming sun before breaking into the brightness of their particular colors, their own unique petal formation. Even the grass is slowly waking up to what it might mean to go into its blanket form for its summer lie-down.
Many I know (including my oldest daughter) are either graduating or about to graduate from high school and college. Seeing photos in caps and gowns of varying colors is like seeing holograms of what possibility looks like. Faces full of confidence, smiles broad and open to the world. They have the "I’m ready for what's next" look written all over them. Possibility embodied.
Perhaps I am thinking about possibility because I also realize that the church needs to be ready for what God has planned next. Phyllis Tickle, author and teacher says that every 500 years the church and, indeed culture, goes through a major change and restructuring. We are, she says, in just such a time and place. Many might hear this with fear and trembling and even despair. As I hear her words, I am filled with excitement for the possibility of it all and also a feeling of blessedness at being alive at such a time as this.
Sometimes, though, there seems to be a heavy mantel of cynicism that cloaks our culture. It seeps into nearly every space…social, national, global, theological, or relational. I have been known to make the flippant statement “Well, that is not going to happen in my lifetime!” Whatever the "that" was at the time really signaled my inability to see the possibilities that are all around. Indeed, this world is filled with the hope of possibility all the time if we have eyes, and heart, to see.
What possibilities are lurking just outside your vision these days? What hopes are being watered and plowed in the dry, dusty places of your life? Is there space in your own spirit to be open to the possibility of what is to come? Are you, perhaps, full of possibility?
As one who makes a home in the Christian household, this should not be news to me. This is basic resurrection theology. Our whole communal life has its foundation in possibility. The possibility of justice and compassion. The possibility that kindness and generosity will prevail. The possibility that a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish can feed a crowd. The possibility of new life springing from the most unlikely of places. The possibility that, yes, even in our lifetime God is doing new things. Even in the church. Perhaps especially in the church.
May we be gripped by the possibility of these spring days and filled to overflowing with what is yet to be.