Climate of Possibility

By Stephen Bell


            As mentioned a few Sundays ago, our brother Brad Wright has spent some time thinking over the idea of purpose in the Christian life.  We all seem to know we’re called to something, but often have little idea how to realize that calling, or even come to a concrete understanding of it.

            I had the opportunity to participate in a small group with Brad over the summer, where we considered the ideas of purpose and goals, and how those might work themselves out in the life of a forward thinking Christian.  We used The Success Principles by Jack Canfield as one of the texts to which we referred.

            Right up front, I am generally repelled by any sort of success tutorial.  Particularly the dumb stuff. I will not write my goals on the back of my hand.  I will not say those goals out loud 12 times a day. And I seem unable to pursue material goals with a single minded focus.

            Blame it on my fundamentalist upbringing.  The principles of Make Do, I Don’t See Why You Need That, and a Persistent Fear of Anything Creative, make for some seriously hobbling ball-and-chains. But at some point, we leave blame behind and assume responsibility for our path as adults.


            As we were nearing the end of the class, I entered a contest.  If chosen, I would fly to California, pick up a 2013 motorcycle, and ride to Las Vegas along with the staff of a motorcycle rag I read pretty regularly.  There I would be treated as if on staff and, in return, would write an article covering the Las Vegas Bike Fest for publication. Heady stuff.

            As it turns out, I wasn’t chosen.  But the timing was curious.  I ran the idea of entering past Laurie and she said, “Well, you know how to ride.  You know how to write. You meet new people easily.  And you’re spectacularly handsome.” (A little of this is foggy in memory…).

            Upon reflection, I may not have pursued this if I wasn’t in the midst of a group considering goals and desires and purpose. The largest benefit for me was the climate of possibility I was in and the encouragement I received, as part of the small group.

            And so, I’m really looking forward to the Choice Campaign in the weeks ahead. It’s not just about dealing with the negative things that beset us, but choosing to reach for things we thought foolish or unnecessary, or were too proud to reach for.

            My brother in law is fond of saying, “Life is not a dress rehearsal.” Let’s not dismiss desires based on our perceived unlikeliness of their coming to pass.


            Maybe when we think, “I’d like to rack up 100,000 miles on my motorcycle,” God thinks “Go for it!”

            Maybe when we think, “I bet I could write a novel,” God thinks “Start writing already!”

            Maybe when we think, “I’d like to write a worship song,” God thinks “I can’t wait to hear it!”


            The possibilities really are limitless, you know…


One Comment on “Climate of Possibility”

  1. Vincent J Gierer says:

    Very Funny. I laughed out loud several times. Thanks.

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