ONE SMALL STEP
It’s difficult to believe that 49 years ago (in July) Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, the first to do so? I remember where I was, I was staring at our black and white TV, trying to discern the hazy and somewhat confusing image, while listening intently as Neil Armstrong spoke the famous words, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
That was a great time to be a kid, our heroes were astronauts and the “sky was the limit”…literally. I had astronaut action-figures, there were a plethora of science-fiction shows on TV which took the imagination to the limit of believability, and what could be imagined seemed to be possible.
What happened? What happened to imagination?
Years ago, every-once-in-a-while, I’d be asked to come into a Gifted Classroom of kids and teach songwriting. I had a teacher-friend who taught an accelerated humanities-type program for Elementary Age children of every age, I would come by for a day and have the children, each hour, write a song together (leading them somewhat along) that we would write down and sing (and record). What was interesting to observe was the children who were under Third Grade had no trouble writing lyrics with fantastic themes, creating scenarios and creatures that didn’t exist, and putting things that DID exist into impossible situations. Once we started dealing with kids older than that, they only wanted to write about what was possible, and things they had seen or heard before…what happened?
Many of you know that I travelled to the Soviet Union (back when it WAS the Soviet Union) and spent a good month getting to know the folks who hosted me, and observing life in Communist Russia. It was eye-opening, startling, and not at all what I expected. One morning, over tea with my friend Misha, I told him that in Moscow at least, I hardly saw a smile…except from the children. He said something very enlightening, he said, “That’s because they think that anything is possible…you see, once you get to be 9 or 10 your life and work are planned out for you, it’s a sort of caste system, and once you realize what the rest of your life is going to be you stop dreaming.”
You stop dreaming.
As a side-note I have to tell you that Misha’s dream was to move to the United States, marry an American girl and get his green card…then work in a bank and get rich. He accomplished, after the second revolution, every one of those goals.
Neil Armstrong walked on the moon because somewhere, at some point, one person imagined that it was possible. Someone had a large dream, an “Impossible Dream”. Someone checked back in with their God-given imagination. Someone said, “I believe THAT’S possible.”
Imagination and dreaming are God-given gifts. When we only see what is possible (with us) our prayers become litanies of grief and whining…not shared dreams between a child and a Parent. When we see what is only possible with us, then we disrespect the God who says, “With humans it is impossible, but with God ALL things are possible.”(MATT 19:26) AND “…ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind.” (JAMES 1:6) AND “…your old will dream dreams and your young will see visions.” (JOEL 2:28)
God wants you and me to think “outside the box” in all things…why? Because when we tap into the impossible, we tap into God. When we see miracles and expect them we truly become His children. When we stop saying “that’s impossible” and start saying, “why not?” then we start living the ABUNDANT LIFE.
A man in a space suit walking on the moon is nothing compared to the great things that could be accomplished if we knew that “With God, nothing is impossible.”
Don’t stop dreaming. That one step into the impossible, with God, could be the giant step for humankind that we all need.