Mission impossibles are filled with excitement and mixed with fear. By their nature, many think they cannot be done. The unknowns stretch beyond our imagination. The challenges seem larger than anyone or thing can handle. The time allotted to get it done is compressed beyond recognition. Everything says it is impossible. Some, myself included, see the label as a screaming invitation to take it on.
This week I sat through a series of workshops on yet another chapter of mission impossible. For anyone present, having a sense of drowning in the midst of a great opportunity would be normal. The challenges are coming from all directions. There is more that we do not know than what we do. Some seemed to be daunted by the tasks. For others, I could see their eyes light up.
I have often wondered how others respond to mission impossible. Is hesitation a norm? Should retreat or play it safe be preferred options?
In one story, Paul was given a invitation to do what others had retreated from attempting. “’I’m [God is] sending you off to open the eyes of the outsiders so they can see the difference between dark and light, and choose light, see the difference between Satan and God, and choose God.” (Acts 26.17)
In that situation, Paul’s eyes lit up.
I am hopeful that there were key players sitting around the table this week with bright eyes. Even as I find myself looking in the mirror to measure my response, I think I saw the signs of engagement.
In your life and mine, mission impossible opportunities show up when we least expect them. At times, I miss the invitation until it has passed. Being on the lookout for the invitations is a start, but only a small step. Key considerations include knowing that one is called and understanding what is at risk. Other factors include commitment, discipline, and the willingness to do the unusual.
I wake the day after wondering what I embraced. What I do today will tell my story. Being intentional is merely the beginning.