What is possible? What is impossible?

The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. 31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.’

Luke 1:31&32 

Dear members and friends, 

Once someone told me, “One of the signs of becoming an adult is knowing the difference between what is possible and what is impossible.” For a long time, I kept this in my heart as a principle to cultivate and through which to filter all things and matters. However, one day I suddenly realized that no one told me who is defining the word “possible”! As a matter of fact, there are many times in human history when certain things that most people believed to be impossible became possible while other possible things turned out to be impossible. The truth is that human beings are not capable of judging what is possible and what is impossible because of two reasons: 1. We all are bound to the present moment, and thus are not capable of making a judgment on a future outcome; 2. Our judgment is solely based on our own ability, experiences, and intelligence, which are limited.   

In ancient China, Confucius claimed that “no human is born with prior knowledge.” And in the modern day, this has been proven to be true by scientists. What it means is that as soon as we are born, our very self is going through two different processes of learning, being cognitive/mental and physiological. The highest priority of any newborn is survival. Thus, a newborn is likely driven by two simple desires: food and security. In the beginning, this could be provided by the primary caregivers (parents). But ultimately, one must learn or find ways to provide for themselves. It is a very slow and long process for a human baby to grow and function as an independent adult in a community. While this is a wonderful process, it is the process by which our mind is programmed or influenced, especially in the matters of judging the difference between what is possible and what is impossible

Would it be too much to think that our ultimate task in living a human life is indeed to overcome this programmed mindset and to transcend above the limits set by human mentality bound by laws of physics? We Christians believe the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, and the eternal life in heaven, which are both impossibilities for the earth-bound, factual mindset. While writing this, a teaching from Jesus came into my mind: “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:17) Now I am realizing once more the simple truth that Advent is the story of a loving God who restored humanity the lost freedom of choice that is essential to fulfill and achieve their created purpose, which is to choose to become loving beings. The message of Jesus, therefore, gives us hope: if we choose to do so, we could become loving beings by transcending all the negative limits set by the world. 

My brothers and sisters in God, let us take a moment today and contemplate the coming of Christ on earth, and into our lives. Let us deeply embrace the hopeful message from Jesus that we are all made to become loving beings should we choose to be so. 

Blessings, Rev. Junchol Lee