“Here we have Franciscans, Armenians, Greeks, Muslim guards, and Jewish police officers. We hope and we pray that this will be a real message that the impossible can become the possible.” – Thephilos III
We love watching National Geographic documentaries on Disney+. This weekend, my wife found a NatGeo exclusive, where scientist expose the original surface of what is traditionally considered the tomb of Jesus Christ. The tomb had been covered since at least 1555 A.D. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, also known as the Church of the Resurrection, is situated over the burial tomb. The Roman emperor, Constantine, had commissioned the church to be built at the site in 325 A.D. It is currently under the custody of six Christian groups. As you can imagine, they each have their own ideas, plans and dreams for this sacred place. Throughout the years, disagreement and battles would erupt between the different parties.
Keep the Status Quo! In 1852, the groups came together to establish cooperation and peace. “Things, as they have been running until today, shall remain as at present, pending a final agreement.” A system of rules would regulate this holy place. Nothing would be allowed to change without the agreement of all parties. This was called the “Status Quo agreement”, from Latin meaning “the existing state of affairs, the way things are.”
Well intentioned efforts to drive peace and reduce disruption can have side effects. Earthquakes, weather and natural erosion began to deteriorate and put this sacred place at risk. In fact, without intervention the entire structure around the tomb was at risk of collapsing and destroying this beloved place. Sadly, no agreement could be reached. The Status Quo remained in effect for over 160 years. Finally, in 2015, a restoration project was launched. The National Geographic Society received the blessing from the religious communities in alliance with the National Technical University of Athens for cultural heritage preservation. The ongoing work to reinforce the structure and preserve the site had finally started… the impossible had become the possible.
What is your Status Quo? Is something preventing you from taking necessary action to improve things? I challenge you to spend time today thinking about the “Status Quo agreements” that are controlling your life or actions. Are you finding that those imagined constraints or real agreements are preventing necessary change or maintenance? Is unchallenged consensus immobilizing innovation or restricting required progress? If so, it is time for a resurrection. Challenge the Status Quo! Make bold and ambitious plans to deliver the change needed. Think big. Start anew! The impossible can become possible.