What seems impossible often isn’t.
Before 1954, no human had ever run a mile in less than four minutes and many “experts” had concluded that it was physically impossible. However, in May of that
year, Roger Bannister broke the barrier, proving it could be done. Soon, John Landy joined the sub-four-minute-mile club. By the end of 1957, 16 runners had cracked the four minute barrier. Just 10 years later, Jim Ryan became the first high school student to do it in 1964. American Steve Scott broke the mark 136 times in his career. And, in 1994, Irish runner Eamonn Coghlan became the first man over 40 to run a sub-four-minute mile. Once something has been proven possible, it becomes easier for others to follow.
I share that with you, not because you need to know the history of the four-minute-mile, but because you need to know that what seems impossible often isn’t. And that is important to us because we often give up on things – or don’t attempt them – because we think we have no chance.
That happens, I think, with living the Christian life. Some attempt it only to conclude that the expectations are too high (and they often are). Or, they conclude that they are too weak (and they always are). Since it’s impossible, the logical solution is to give it up. After trying unsuccessfully so long to be good, to do all the “right” things and to avoid all the bad habits it’s easy to conclude that it’s just impossible to continue. Others watch that happening and decide it’s pointless for them to even start.
I think that’s why the writer of Hebrews urges us to “fix your thoughts on Jesus” (Hebrews 3:1). We focus on ourselves – our own disappointing performance. It is impossible to win that way! But this race of life is winnable if we focus on the one who has already won it. Jesus lived a worthy life – and he wants to give it to us.
“Fix your thoughts on Jesus” because he, “shared in their humanity” (2:14) but was still “faithful” (3:2) and was “found worthy” (3:3). His success can be our success. We can “share in the heavenly calling” because we “share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end” (3:1, 14).
What seems impossible isn’t. You can be found faithful. You can be worthy. Jesus has already proven it.