Wait Till They Get a Load of Me

Memory retains the childish song, “I am a promise.  I am a possibility.  I am a promise with a capital P.  I am a great, big bundle of potentiality.”  Just as we never know what we’re going to get in life, we never know exactly, or precisely (if at all), what we will become or the footprints will we leave in the virgin snow.

Our world is rife with broken promises.  It is possible to take statements made of aspirations as obligatory, but that, most often, should not be.  However, many vows are made with full and good intentions though fruition is another thing.  At times, failure is more a product of inability than faithlessness, but the fallout is the much same even if understanding prevails.

The variables in life may play greater roles in our development that the constants.  Solomon testified of the influences of time and chance on outcomes.  As an athletic supporter, I have witnessed the eclipse of promising careers in fractions of seconds.  If only.  There was promise.  In some ways, promises are like wishes.  Things we hope for.

Promise foreshadows the possible.  What might be.  A promise seems reasonable.  It is not a baseless hope.  There is substance in the works.  Everything looked good in training camp.  Shadow-boxing revealed no deficits.  At some point, however, battle must be enjoined and the factual replace the fanciful.  There’s the rub.  The road to perdition is paved with unfulfilled aspirations.

A possibility can happen.  It is within the realm of reasonability.  The question is whether the possible is probable.  Consequently, it is nobler to make prognostications based on what is likely rather than what is wished.  Even erudite statisticians, however, will not be able to discern what will be by what might be or any untested likelihood.

Potential is not production, and it pays less.  Professional sports teams are praised and deemed prophetic when they pick a diamond from the rough in the later rounds of the draft.  Words on a page and stats in a chart do not always correlate to play on the field.  On the other hand, it is possible to overlook an orchid while searching for a rose.  Some players never exercise their potential through lack of opportunity.  It’s hard to be good if you don’t play.

We will never know if promise, possibility and potential are what they portend until contact is made in real-life situations.  Even then, there are other variables determining success and failure.  These things considered, it may be in our best interests to appeal to more than the box score in assessing the game.  John Havlicek said the most important stat was minutes played.

Thomas Gray wrote that the dark, unfathomed caves of ocean bear gems of purest ray serene.  Many vibrant lives and valiant works will be unnoticed if we determine progress by applause.  As it turns out, though, the final determination will be by more scrupulous means.  Whatever you are or become in life will not ultimately be determined by others or even you, it will be in accordance with the will of God.

Abilities and accomplishments in life are determined by the One who sets the bounds of the seas.  At the last day, each of us will be judged according to the ways in which we exercised our potential, our production, though none of us had the final say in all outcomes.  Until that time, occupy yourself.

Sterl

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