The week of Christmas is a big week, there’s a lot going on, school gets out, and the anticipation of Christmas morning is palpable not only in the kids but even in the adults. There is stress, there is excitement, there are short tempers, there is fear. This moment, this week is pregnant with possibilities.
As a dad, as a pastor, I celebrate this time of year the birth of Jesus to a young, scared girl. A young woman, literally, pregnant with the possibilities that lay in store for her son, possibilities she couldn’t have known before his birth. Much like any mother or father who waits with anticipation the birth of their child, there is excitement, there is joy, there is fear, there is possibility. I know when my daughter was born a little over 5 years ago, I was terrified, I was overjoyed, I was uncertain, I was filled with joy, I was and to this day can be consumed with the “what ifs” of my life and hers. What if she becomes President, what if she’s in an accident, what if I’m in an accident, what if she fails, what if she succeeds, what if other kids don’t like her, what if she’s the most popular kid at school, and on and on. Her life, my life, our life is still pregnant with possibilities.
As a father, as a mentor, a role model my job is not to let the fear of what might be, get in the way of the what is, and not to let my fear discount or limit the possibilities that are open to her. Even at a young age, I can, because of my fear, shut down the possibility of who she is and where she might go. I don’t want to let my fear get in the way of her possibility.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently, I think about it a lot during Advent most years, because I think if Mary had been guided by fear, the story that we celebrate every year at this time would be all together different, I’m not sure what it would be, but it wouldn’t be the story of a young girl having a child in a manger in Bethlehem.
An angel says to Mary, like over a hundred other times in the Bible, “Do not fear.” I try to remember that every time a possibility comes up for my daughter or for me.
Do not fear the possibilities.
I think Nebraska City is pregnant with possibility.
On Tuesday night I went to the Steinhart Lodge to see what possibilities students from University of Nebraska-Lincoln came up with as they presented their Development Plan for our city. I was amazed at what I saw, they had ideas for beautiful entrances to our city, an amazing and inviting Heritage Center downtown, a concert venue on the outskirts of town, an expansive and exciting Otoe Market in the old Morton Kitchens location, a versatile new marina, and the two things I was most excited about, a comprehensive trail system connecting all around the city and a multi-sport complex with opportunities for baseball, softball, and soccer tournaments near our new pool. The whole project is pregnant with possibilities.
We have now seen the possibilities and there is reason to be filled with excitement, there could also be a little fear because what if, it doesn’t work?
I don’t believe we can live by fear; we must live in the hope of what new things will be birthed in our lives. The possibilities are endless, our streets, hotels, and stores filled with families in between games of their weekend tournaments, their siblings playing at our outstanding, new pool. Families, like mine, running and riding bikes on the new trails, children walking to school safely through the new trail system. Spending a night out at a concert, being proud to invite friends and family to town throughout the year. It’s exciting, it’s joyful, it’s a little terrifying, and I can’t wait to see where it goes.
I invite you to learn about the new plan, find out how you can help, and get involved as we, together, move Nebraska City through the birthing of these possibilities.
At dinner every night, my family goes around the table and shares their high points and low points of the day. We call it “Favorite” and “Not Favorite”. Here are my “Favorites” and “Not Favorites” of the week.
Favorite: The excitement and energy that is building around the possibilities for our town.
Not Favorite: The fear that keeps us from realizing the opportunities we have.
Pastor Greg Bolt
12/23/2014 NC NewsPress