Don't Flinch at the Impossible

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Summary of Main Ideas

You know those times in life when it seems like something is impossible? When you can’t possibly get over that obstacle that’s standing in your way?


Commander Mark Divine talks about not flinching in the face of the impossible.


Last year I ran the Spartan race. If you don't know what the Spartan race is, it’s basically a gigantic obstacle course with a 5k thrown in for good measure.


At one point, there was a rope climb. I have no experience climbing ropes.


As I stood there and stared up at the rope, I realized that no matter how long I looked at the rope, no matter how much I tried to psych myself up, that rope climb was never going to get any more possible for me than it was at that moment.


So I relied on the one thing I knew I had going for me. My upper body strength. I attacked that rope as if it were possible, and before I knew it, I was at the top, ringing the bell. I had conquered it. Because I didn’t flinch in the face of the impossible.


Where are you flinching? What is it in your life that seems impossible? Maybe it’s a conversation that you know you need to have. Maybe it’s a decision you know you need to make. Whatever it is, know that flinching is only going to delay the discomfort.


Leaning into the impossible is what will get you through to the other side.


On the day I am recording this podcast, it is Loving day. If you’re not familiar with Loving day, it’s the anniversary of the day that the Supreme Court struck down laws prohibiting interracial marriage in the United States. Behind that court case were Mildred & Richard Loving, an interracial couple from Virginia who never flinched in the face of the impossible and changed the world with their refusal to back down. They made the impossible possible.


If they can stand unflinching in the face of the impossible, surely we can as well.



“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” Shel Silverstein

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” Nelson Mandela


Reflection Questions

  1. Where have you bought the lie that you can’t accomplish something?

  2. What would happen in your life if today, you decided not to flinch?

  3. What obstacle is standing in your way today that needs to be conquered?

  4. What’s the one thing in your life that you feel compelled to do, but seems impossible?