One of the joys of being the parent of a young child is the ridiculous things they come out with. Our son is frequently telling us what he’ll do “when I’m a grown up,” including flying like a bird, touching the sky and driving a racing car.
While such conversations bring me joy, I’m saddened to know that sooner or later he will have to live in the real world. The world that never fails to teach us our limitations. In childhood we sit exams to determine which school we will go to, or which class we will sit in when we get to there. Our budgets dictate how well we can eat, where we live, what clothes we wear and what transport we can use. Our CVs dictate how well we do in the workplace. From birth, we learn to manage our expectations, not to set them too high for fear of disappointment. We’re told “Don’t get ideas above your station”.
And yet, Christians worship an impossible God. The divine creator who was also a human being. A God who died and then lived, instead of the other way around.
I’m reminded of Lewis Carol’s Red Queen, who chastises Alice for being so beholden to reality:
"There's no use trying," Alice said: "one can't believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
The gospel challenges us to raise our expectations, not to lower them. To entrust our impossible hopes and dreams into the hands of the God who breaks all convention.
Impossible God, raise our expectations, be gentle with our dreams and guide us into the future with high hopes. Amen.