Many times I feel like I am being asked to do the impossible. Maybe not something as crazy as crossing a street walking upside down as this sign suggest. But I can feel troubled nonetheless. It might be getting along with challenging people, dealing with illness, or staying committed to quiet prayer. It could be a project for school or work, getting in shape or over-coming a temptation. Whatever it might be we all know the experience of being over-whelmed and intimidated. I am sure we can all think of things that we find difficult and beyond our capabilities.
Saint Benedict addresses the assignment of impossible tasks in Chapter 68 of the Rule. In his holy wisdom, he recognizes that there are times when we are required to do things that seem impossible and overly burdensome. Benedict says that we should first try to accept what is given. And if we can’t, we should in all humility ask for and look for relief. But in the end, if alleviation is not to be found, Benedict admonishes that we should trust in God’s help, look for the goodness of others, and lovingly continue on.
Jesus, too, looks out for us in our daily lives and our earthy struggles. He promised to send us the Advocate when he said, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever” (John 14:16). We are assured that the Spirit will help us in our weakness (Romans 8:26), build us up (Acts 9:31), and guide us (John 16:13).
When we are faced with doing (what seems like) the impossible, let us never forget that we are not alone. We have our family and friends. We have the Holy Spirit. And, we have Jesus who promised to be with us until the end of time (Matthew 28:20).
Remember that for God nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37) … not even walking across the street upside down. After all, Jesus walked on water!