The Impossible Dream [Devotion]

There is a song I heard again recently that has inspired and moved me as I’ve thought about the journey we’ve been on with Prodigal thus far. The song isn’t Christian and I don’t necessarily recommend the musical it comes from but I’ll share some of the lyrics and then explain why this song has struck such an emotional chord with me.

The Impossible Dream (The Quest, from the Musical Man of La Mancha)

[Here’s a YouTube Link if you’d prefer to listen]

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
And to run where
The brave dare not go
To right the unrightable wrong
And to love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star
This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far
To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march,
March into hell
For that heavenly cause…

The song continues but this is the part I wanted to share with you. While the song in its context has a humanist bent I’ve loved listening to it from a Christian perspective. If we imagine that the quest he is refferring to is the individual call of the Christian to follow Christ through the dangers and uncertainties of this life then the message of this song is incredibly beautiful. Let me show you what I mean specifically in light of the journey of Prodigal.

To dream the impossible dream: In almost every way Prodigal is an impossible dream from an earthly perspective. The budget, connections, locations, talent, distribution, etc. are all well beyond the reach of our small little production company. In all honesty the only reason why we’re even attempting it is because we honestly believe that God is calling us… but that’s the awesome part! Luke 1:37 says, “For nothing will be impossible with God.” The angel isn’t saying this to Mary because she can do whatever she wants and God will make it happen. Instead he’s saying it because the impossible thing that God has called her to do is not in any way, shape, or form impossible for God! In God’s strength we can dream the impossible dream that He has called us to!

To Fight the Unbeatable Foe: Romans 8:37-39, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” No matter the enemy it (our own fallen flesh, the opposition of the world, the difficulties of the task, or the devil himself) Christians can take on the unbeatable foe because victory comes from Christ! We can face the seemingly overwhelming impossibility of bringing Prodigal to the screen because Christ is the victor. That doesn’t necessarily mean things will look like the world’s definition of success but it does mean that God will accomplish His purpose through the project and bring glory to Himself, which is our ultimate goal anyway!

To bear with unbearable sorrow: By the grace of God we have not had to encounter unbearable sorrow. But no matter the setback, roadblock, personal heartache, or whatever other difficulty or heartache may stand between here and the end of the road, “we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose,“ (Romans 8:28). Even if the whole project crashes and burns never to be resurrected we can have complete confidence in the plan of God.

And to run where the brave dare not go: There are a lot of elements to this project that we have been told by experienced film makers are very ambitious to say the least. And while we do our best to listen to and follow the wisdom of those who are farther along than us we are first and foremost committed to what we believe is God’s vision for this project. We hold each element with an open hand but we realize we are, in many ways, about to step out of the boat and onto the waves. But we believe that is part of God’s plan for this movie. Judges 7:2 says, “The Lord said to Gideon, ‘The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’ “ Often God glorifies Himself by doing the impossible and so we can run boldly where the brave might not go if they had not been called.

To right the unrightable wrong: While we aren’t necessarily looking to right a wrong in a moral sense we are looking to break stereotypes both on and off the screen in ways that many consider impossible for an indie Christian film. We see a wrong in these stereotypes that needs to be righted to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Colossians 3:23-24, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”

To try when your arms are too weary: I’ll keep this simple Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Colossians 1:29, “or this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.”

No matter how hopeless no matter how far: No matter what we face we will not cease obeying God by pursuing Prodigal until it is completed or He directs us elsewhere. Even in the face of the challenges ahead we will trust God. Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

To fight for the right without question or pause. To be willing to march, march into hell for that heavenly cause: It might seem melodramatic but we are willing to face whatever comes our way in order to pursue this quest. Because God deserves it. He reached down and pulled us out of our sin and our shame, took it on Himself, and gave us His own righteousness that we could be sons and daughters of God! “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us,” Romans 8:18

It may seem overly dramatic to think in these ways but the sentiment in the song really resonates with me. I hope this has encouraged you in whatever God has called you to! Remember that Christ has already done the most impossible thing. He has saved sinners from their just punishment. So if you have been saved then you too can dare, in Christ, to dream the impossible dream!