I have always loved the Epiphany story of the Three Wise Men found in the 2nd chapter of the Gospel of Matthew. And not just because it’s about men who follow directions and end up realizing that it was a really good idea. I love the story because it’s about people who have already “arrived” in life and are comfortable by all cultural standards, but who remain open to risk-taking, adventure, humility and being transformed by mystery they may not fully understand. The Wise Men were astrologers, Eastern kings or wealthy merchants. Regardless of which, they were intelligent men used to thinking for themselves and basing decisions on logic and reason. But they traveled to a dirty stable to visit a child born to a poor couple because they believed that anything was possible with God, even the things that seemed to make the least sense or were the least plausible.
Sometimes in my own life I wonder if the most difficult thing about having faith is in believing that all things are possible with God. It’s risky to hedge my bets on such an overstated platitude. If I believe that all things are possible with God then it means I have to be open to doing things and thinking in ways that could make me look foolish and naïve to the rest of the world. It also means I have to be willing to risk major disappointment and hurt when faith in divine possibility does not manifest into anything tangible, when I don’t “get” the results for which I hoped. But it also means I have permission to worry less. And I have permission to exert more positive energy into the world because my stance is now one of ultimate possibility and hope. It’s amazing really what a difference it makes in my own life and in the lives I’m a part of when I am intentional about exerting more positive energy with my words, my thoughts and my actions.
I wonder if they were wise men because they were willing to believe and act so foolishly for God.