Sometimes we become so preoccupied with our problems that we overlook the opportunities that God is plainly giving us to grow in faith and hope. My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.
“The difficult we do immediately, The impossible might take a little bit longer.”
I ran across this motto a number of years ago as I had my car serviced at an area muffler shop. It was a caricature of a muffler repair man standing with a wrench in one hand and a muffler and pipe assembly in the other. He had one of those grins on his face that made you both smile and scratch your head at the same time. Was this bragging? Or, was it actually a statement of the level and degree of customer service I was about to receive? I walked over to the reception desk where a grizzled old mechanic, hands blackened by years of underbody work, lifted his eyes from a parts book to meet mine. “How long will it be yet?” I asked. “Well!” he mumbled. “Some jobs go pretty quickly and others take longer. The prob- lem with your car isn’t that we can’t fix it. It’s that the fixing has become more of an “opportunity” than we had antici- pated. Suddenly I understood the motto on the wall. “The impossible might take a bit longer,”
Charles F. Kettering, former research head of General Motors, was fond of telling this story. When he called a research and development meeting on a particular problem of not an immediate probability of presenting a ready solution, and he wanted the problem solved, he’d take care to first find a piece of cardboard and write in big, bold letters: No Slide Rules Permitted. He’d then place the sign on a table outside the meeting room where it could be easily seen and read by each member of his design and development staff. When asked why he found it necessary to do this, he gave this reason: “The reason that the sign had become necessary is If I didn’t do that, I’d find someone reaching for his slide rule. Then he’d be on his feet saying, ‘Boss, you can’t do it.’” In Charles Kettering’s meetings, can’t was one word that was never uttered. Somehow everything was possible if it were approached with an open mind. (Charles F. Kettering in Bits & Pieces, Dec, 1991.)
Sometimes we become so preoccupied with our problems that we overlook the opportunities that God is plainly giving us to grow in faith and hope. The more we focus on the problem, the less and less we see the opportunity. This was plainly evident in Kettering’s approach to solving design issues at GM. And, it was plainly evident in that muffler shop’s dedication to fixing the problem even when the problem “might take a bit longer.” When we start with the premise that all things are possible for God and that He will do all things for good as long as we remain faithful in our belief that He is both capable and willing, we will find few “impossibilities” if any in this life that aren’t very possible. Can’t really isn’t nor should it ever be a word found in a Christian’s vocabulary.
We pray. Heavenly Father, as your servants we often have a problem with problems. We stare at our problems until they become nearly impenetrable. Finally it is all that we can even see despite the fact that you have surrounded our problems with blessings if only we take the time to look in another direction. Forgive us Lord when we become so myopic that we make ourselves blind to the obvious solutions that you in your grace have provided to us because you dwell among us with grace and mercy. You are a God who loves and takes no comfort in our distress. Help us to find the possibilities among the impossibilties when we are finally willing to take our eyes off the negative in search of the positive. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt 6:34)
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