Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

'Dwell in Possibility'

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

'Dwell in Possibility'

Article excerpt

"Dwell in possibility" was the central message of a middle- school graduation speech I heard. These timeless words of Emily Dickinson invite us to leave behind the mundane, calculated, and limited ways of living, and consider the idea that what we hope for is possible. Not only is good possible, but good is the motif and common denominator of our lives.

Dickinson's poem implies that good is a permanent mental state, rather than a haphazard wish list. We should treat this expectancy of good like a primary residence, not like a vacation home or time share. But how can we see beyond the world's scene of impossibility and insecurity? How can we really hope and not be afraid of failure?

I can remember a time when I was challenged to consider all that was possible in my life. I was graduating from college, and I wasn't exactly hopeful or ready to "dwell in possibility" with practical needs looming. I just wanted to know, Would I have a job? A place to live? Food to eat? Transportation? And friends?

While taking a walk one spring day, I pondered these questions. I started with the need for a car. I knew that I probably should buy a car to get to work and back, but how was I going to get a car without a job? I already had student loans, and I knew that my parents weren't able to fund such a big purchase. It was all so complicated and hard not to feel overwhelmed.

This line of reasoning wasn't getting me anywhere. So I started on a more inspired tack. I remembered this verse from the Bible: "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you" (Matt. 7:7).

Up until that point, I'd been discouraged from really asking and then trusting God to care for me. I felt I was much more in touch with my needs, accomplishments, and desires than God was. But I knew that it was time to give up my tightly spun plans and yield to a more spiritual sense of life.

I had experienced numerous blessings throughout college - work opportunities, greater physical strength for dance performances, and mental endurance with academic assignments. …

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