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The Possible, the Impossible, and the Apossible

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Posted: 9/19/15 at 11:00am. Column by Ed Jordan.

Today I would like to discuss the subject of the possible, the impossible and the apossible. Now before you go on a dictionary search for the word “apossible,” I want you to know that at this point in our language the word does not exist in English.

But every word we have today at some point started as a new word created by someone, and the new word is often a transliteration from another language. So, we might be making history by creating the word “apossible.” Keep reading and hopefully this will all come together by the end of this column

How is the word “possible” changed when adding the prefixes im- or a- to the front of the word? Well, the root word of impossible is the word “possible,” so let’s begin our thought process with that.

The word possible means that something is conceivable, achievable, or feasible. Those who believe that things are possible are generally considered possibility thinkers.  They have a can-do attitude, which is often accompanied by perseverance that endures until the desired goal is accomplished.

Very often these possibility people have a relationship with God that fuels their vision of endless possibilities.  While they realize that all humans have limitations, and that there are always things beyond our abilities or control, their relationship with God assures them that God can do what man thinks is impossible.

“For nothing will be impossible with God.”

This is the message of God to Mary in Luke 1:37 (ESV): “For nothing will be impossible with God.”  Thus their faith in God helps them overcome what others say regarding something being “impossible” to accomplish.

Their faith in God allows them to frequently see things that others think to be impossible, become possible and tangible realities. People who know God live in an “open” universe, where God can override human limitations to see as possible what others think is impossible.

The prefix “im” means “not.” So by adding “im” to the word “possible” it changes the meaning from “achievable” to “not achievable.” The more one succumbs to the thought that things are “not achievable” the more it affects one’s psyche and perspective.

Some people who are continually confronted with impossible things that are beyond their abilities or resources may change from being possibility thinkers (optimists) to what many people call “pessimists.” They arrive at a point of discouragement where they don’t believe that things will go well enough for their lives to achieve the supposedly impossible.

If these people enter a settled state of mind where God, and resources beyond themselves, are closed out of their lives, they might become apossible people. Some people have embraced a cynical, settled mindset in which they don’t even begin to evaluate possibilities.

They become apossible persons, fatalists who live in a closed universe where they have negated God and the power and possibilities that He brings into our human circumstances. Thus apossible people embrace a settled mindset where they believe themselves to perpetually be powerless victims.

They mitigate against even entertaining thoughts or discussions on what is possible. They live with a closed mind, under a blanket of despair.

Some people believe that the impossible is merely a challenge to see God change the “impossible” to the “possible.”

A prefix radically changes the meaning of a word.  Our attitude towards God can change our life and mindset radically as well. Some people believe that the impossible is merely a challenge to see God change the “impossible” to the “possible.”

But some people are so overcome by seemingly impossible situations that they don’t factor in God at all, and thus become despairing pessimists. They live in a closed universe that negates the involvement of the supra natural assistance of God, and embrace an apossible mindset, which leads to withdrawal from life and embracing a fatalistic approach to living.

But situations can change. The impossible can become possible; and the person with an apossible mindset can encounter God and have their whole worldview changed by facing life in partnership with the God, for whom nothing is impossible. So are you a possibility person, an impossibility person, or an apossibility person?

ed-jordan2Award-winning columnist Dr. Ed Jordan is pastor of Gwynn’s Island Baptist Church, Gwynn, VA. You may also read his past columns.

He can be reached at szent.edward@gmail.com.