In his controversy with Aristotle over the principles involved in the creation, Moses Maimonides made an insightful statement.  He said Aristotle assumed that “…a transition from potentiality to actuality would take place in Deity itself if He produced anything at a certain fixed time” (Part II, Prop. xxvi, Chap. xviii).  It is a very complicated argument and involves the basic concept of creation out of nothing.  But it also sparks a very interesting idea.  How long does “potential” exist, and will it stop being a potential if not put into actuality at the appropriate time?  We know that Scripture teaches us that “When the fullness of time came, God sent His Son” (Gal. 4:4). In other words, the potential was always there, but only for the moment when His Son was sent to earth, to be born of a woman, according to the plan already laid out.  So had the Son of God not acted at the appropriate time, then Christmas would have never happened.

We see this repeated several times throughout Scripture. Noah building the Ark just at the right time. Abraham responding to the call of God at the right time. Moses agrees to go back to Egypt at the right opportunity.  The disciples fishing on the right day. The Samaritan woman going to the well on the right day at the right time. Jesus arriving in Jerusalem at the right Festival as the Lamb of God.  And now we await the exact time for the potential of Christ’s return, that the Father already scheduled.

So often we think that these potentials within us have no expiration date; that we can carry them around as long as we want, and they will always be there when we finally decide to activate them. But that goes against the argument, that for each potential there is a moment of actuality, and unless the two are combined at the right time then that potentiality is lost. If it was possible to interview Bible characters of the past, I’m sure that Esau, Jonah, Saul, Esther, the rich young ruler, the rich man and Lazarus, Joshua giving the children of Israel the right moment to choose whom they would serve, among others, could tell you how it feels to trigger or lose one’s spot in God’s timeline because they failed to activate their potentiality at the appropriate time.

I knew for a long time that I would be called to preach. But the door never opened, and so I chose my own career path. That was, until one night in 1962, while kneeling in prayer in a former Nazi SS barracks in Dachau, Germany, the door opened. Had I not, with the Holy Spirit’s urging, activated my potentiality, I would not be sharing this Serendipity with you. So, the next time the Spirit tells you to do something, do it! So, the question, when your inactivated potentialities die, do your opportunities die with it? – Dr. Robert R Seyda

About drbob76

Retired missionary, pastor, seminary professor, Board Certified Chaplain and American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Director.
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