Could

Could

Epiphany 9

 

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”  Sage advice from Harriet Beecher Stowe opens our discussion today.  The title invokes one to believe in…. what?  Maybe that is the real question.

 

Most recently Regina Dugan, former head of DARPA, gave a TED talk in which she paraphrased Robert Schuller, a minister, by asking “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?”  We discussed this question several days ago but it bears revisiting.  After all, it seems a bit strange that the former director of DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, would be quoting a minister who hosted his own television religious program and was best known as a writer and head of the megachurch known as the Crystal Cathedral.

 

Rev. Schuller actually asked three questions.  “What goals would you be setting for yourself if you knew you could not fail?  What dreams would you have on the drawing board if you had unlimited financial resources?  What plans would you be making if you had thirty years to carry them out?”

 

Schuller wanted people to set goals and then follow through in making them their reality.  He strongly believed in the future and in making the future what you wanted it to be.  He believed in the power of the word “could”.

 

Could in its original form was the past tense of an Old English word “cunnan”.  It literally translated as “to be able”.  Through the centuries this word has become “can” and “could” its past tense.  Today, though, we often define it as “maybe”, as in some dreams maybe coming true rather than some dreams could become real.  The difference may seem slight but the expectations of the two are very different.

 

Do you dreams really reflect a belief in yourself?  Having dreamed a dream and set a goal, do you really believe in its possibility?  Could it become true or real.  Could it be your future?  Why not?  The biggest hurdle we have to overcome is ourselves.  Once we believe in ourselves, we can accomplish practically anything.  All we have to do is believe in the word “could”.

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