The art of the impossible


This will be the defining moment of our age. When the history books make a record of our times, this moment will be remembered for two things: the Internet and the Millennials. It’s an understated problem for us, and unless we seal the generation away from our involvement, close our conscience, and choose not to follow through with their need for us to create living, real relationships with them, they will walk into their new frontier completely unarmed. 

We’ve got to follow through on our ideals or we betray something at the heart of who we are. Outside the walls of our hearts, and even within them, we are under siege beset by materialism and narcissism and all the other “isms” of indifference.

This weekend we will celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr and his impact on Civil Rights in America.  But Civil Rights are bound to human rights at home and in the rest of the world. The right to be human is one. Where you live should not determine whether you live is another.  But for our conversation today, the right to push past preconceptions about the Millennial mindset is a right that we all want — to be more than a stereotype. It means fighting for what Millennials love just as much as it means rejecting the assumptions of laziness, self-righteousness and entitlement placed upon them by other generations. It means finding comfort in the fact that they are not alone in their own struggles.

Millennials identify with other Millennials around the world because of the internet connection. Living on the internet, they operate from a global perspective. They are in tune with events around the world, but they feel disconnected from the people within the generation of 60 and over.  They are driven adults, wary and weary, wrestling with questions, longing for deeper relationships, and facing significant societal, professional, and personal obstacles much like those of us over 60 faced when we were 25 – 39.

Faith is one important factor associated with many Millennial’s well-being, connection, and resilience. When — or, for many, if — they enter into a relationship with someone over 60, they say they need concrete exchanges from people they can trust, and meaningful opportunities to contribute, and maybe, within a community someday.

For those of us over 60, while we might be the experts on faith and leadership, we must leave behind projections, stereotypes and superiority, and be willing to embrace diverse expressions, which will help us to reinvent the generational narrative. Just as we rejected some of the assumptions about our age and the group we represent, those of us over 60 will discover a healthier understanding of where we stand within this narrative.

During the early days of the Jesus Movement, it seemed nothing was impossible for those of us who are now over 60. We were well-versed in the art of the impossible. Nothing was in our way, only human nature, and that followed along because it was led by the Holy Spirit.

Is that still true? Tell me it’s true. It is true isn’t it? And if it isn’t, you of all people can make it true again — not by your might or the knowledge of the word, but by the Holy Spirit working out from your heart to reach a waiting generation — one Millennial person at a time.


Martin Luther King Jr. wasn’t seeking justice just for blacks; he was seeking equal rights for everyone. That is not just a spiritual issue, it is God’s heart. As we remember King this weekend, let us suggest some things that might make this weekend more meaningful.

  1. Listening to King’s “I Have A Dream” speech should be on everyone’s list. (See #3 for link to speech.)
  2. Listen to Pam Mark Hall’s “Harriet Tubman.” Harriet was a slave who ran an underground railroad taking slaves to freedom in the north. Use this link: <> Great Song and Pam does a tremendous job on it. For more info on Pam go to <>.
  3. < > This is a website that suggests 7 things you can do to commemorate this weekend. This is especially good for kids. One of them provides a link to the famous “Dream” speech so you don’t have too look it up.
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2 Responses to The art of the impossible

  1. di4242 says:

    Awesome post, John! Thank you so much for saying these things… As a Gerontologist, who studies Aging (over age 60), your throwing down the gauntlet to those of us over 60 to “get over” ourselves, and realize whom we have in the Millennials to serve and lead, is right on! Blessings to you and all at The Catch!

  2. When peoples from diverse backgrounds work together; when different generations cooperate and collaborate with one another; when we willingly wash the jaundice of discrimination from our own eyes; when we seek to see the light of God in everyone… the results can be phenomenal.
    The improbable seems possible, the impossible seems less ridiculous, prayers in faith are more realistic, and Peace is truly known.

    Here’s a tutorial from the newest of generations – Generation Alpha – on how to see a need, how to address it, how to take action, how to believe despite the odds, and ultimately how to play well with others – all others:

    “We have before us the glorious opportunity to inject a new dimension of love
    into the veins of our civilization. There is still a voice crying out in terms that
    echo across the generations, saying: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse
    you, pray for them that despitefully use you, that you may be the children of your
    Father which is in Heaven.”
    This love might well be the salvation of our civilization…

    … the end [result] is reconciliation; the end is redemption; the end is the creation of the beloved community. It is this type of spirit and this type of love that can transform
    opposers into friends. It is this type of understanding goodwill that will transform
    the deep gloom of the old age into the exuberant gladness of the new age. It is
    this love which will bring about miracles in the hearts of men. ”
    ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
    from “Facing the Challenge of a New Age,”
    Dec. 3, 1956 – Montgomery, Alabama

    Shalom, Peace…

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