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I remember my first experience with magic when a magician held a three-day show in the city where I grew up. I was about 10 years old. It was a surreal moment for many in the city. My understanding at the time was that the last magician who visited the city was awesome and so people had fond memories of that experience. This new magician, we were told, was different - he had more tricks than the last one and so people were eager to see this new magician and all the tricks he had up his sleeves.


I didn’t have the good fortune of being at the three-day show in the local theater. It wasn’t for want of desire, but I was too young and also didn’t have money for the ticket. Well, even if I had the money to pay for the ticket, I was simply too young to be allowed into the theater.


The stories that were told by those who watched the show were unbelievable. The one story that I remember so well was about the supposed ‘killing’ of somebody as part of the show. The magician was to raise this person on the third day - sounds like the resurrection, right? You can only imagine the number of people who trooped to see this magician on the third day raise another human being from the dead. All of this seemed unreal.

 

Looking back, I can only ask, "Why were so many people hooked up by what the magician did? Granted that it was entertainment, why were we so many people interested in a three day show which was all about tricks?" But I figured there was something more to it than just tricks. It was the curiosity embedded in witnessing the impossible being made possible.


Magic is just that - about making the impossible possible, and for that I would add that there’s a magician in each of us, that each of us is a magician. Not that we perform tricks, but we make the impossible possible. You and I can make the impossible possible, not by ourselves alone, but with God.


If the trickery of magic can be enthralling, think about how appealing and inviting an authentic life could be. The magic in you isn’t about trickery - it is about authenticity, it is about the ability to see all the possibilities that are available to you and dreaming to make them happen. The magic in you is the gift of bringing the dream of possibilities to life.


There’s a story of a teacher who asked his students to write a paper on what they wanted to be when they grew up. That night, the boy wrote a seven-page paper that described his dream of owning a horse ranch. Included in the boy’s dream was a 200-acre ranch with a beautiful building that would sit on this ranch. When the teacher invited the students to hand over their papers, he also handed his over. The following week, he received his paper with an 'F' grade on it.


The boy confronted the teacher, asking why he received an 'F' on his paper. The teacher responded that his dream was an unrealistic one. "You come from an itinerant family and have no money. Owning a horse ranch requires a lot of resources and you don’t have that. There’s no way that you can achieve that dream," the teacher told him, and then went on to add, “If you will rewrite your paper, I will reconsider your grade.”


The boy resubmitted the paper the following week but made no changes to it. But then he told his teacher these wise words: “You can keep your ‘F’ and I am going to keep my dream.” The boy then went on to become exactly what he had dreamed of. The name of this boy is Monty Roberts, who is also known as the Horse Whisperer.


Imagine if the boy had bought into the teacher’s view of him. Imagine if he had accepted the notion that he comes from little means, and there’s no way that he could achieve whatever dream he had. Thank God that Monty didn't let his dream die with him.


Les Brown, a motivational speaker, is reported to have said this: “Imagine you’re on your deathbed and standing around your deathbed are the ghosts representing your unfulfilled potential, the ghosts of the ideas you never acted on, the ghosts of the talents you didn’t use. And they’re standing around your bed, angry, disappointed, and upset. They say we came to you because you could’ve brought us to life, and now we have to go to the grave together.”


But I want to change his words a little bit:

“Imagine you’re on your deathbed and standing around your deathbed are the ghosts representing the fruits of the Holy Spirit-charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, long-suffering, gentleness, faith, modesty, self-control and chastity. These are the ghosts you never acted on, the ghosts you didn’t use. And they are standing around your bed, angry, disappointed, and upset. They say we came to you because you could’ve brought us to life, and now we have to go to the grave together.”

In fact, it is by living out the fruits of the Holy Spirit that we transform our lives and our world.


If, indeed, there’s a magician in each of us, then it stands to reason that we can turn things around, that we can bring to life those dreams that we have, and that we can bring to life the transformation that we all need to make the world a better place.


What’s the magic in you? If you could bring something to life, what would it be? If you could change something, what would it be? If you could make the impossible, possible, what would it be?


I give thanks for the gift of magic that lies in you. I know that if given the chance, it can bring to life all the hopes and dreams that we have for ourselves and our world.


Magic doesn’t only happen at Disney World; it is in you, and it can make the impossible possible. It can bring life to all of our hopes and dreams. 


As we bring our celebrations of Black History Month to a close, I invite you to reflect on the magician that you are. 


Manny+

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