We have all asked “What if-”. What if I had more confidence? What if I didn’t say such a stupid thing? What if I did that anyway? What if they hadn’t left? What if I just had a little more time? I am the queen of “What if-”s. Whether I am fretting over how something will result or scolding myself over how I did something else, I am constantly playing “What if’s” through my mind. It’s a simple phrase to get distracted by; obsessing over the results of our decisions or the possible results. Becoming enraged at the fact that if you just acted differently, you wouldn’t be in this mess. You wouldn’t be facing the persecution you currently are enduring. While it is vital to contemplate how your actions will affect others and yourself, I would like to challenge you with one considerable, “What if-”. What if we abolished the excruciating “What if’s”? At least, most of them, that is.
Wondering all of the different ways something could possibly turn out, is pointless. It gets us absolutely nowhere. As always, words are much easier said than actually put into action, but in order for me to follow my own advice, I think I should rationalize it. What we have done, no matter how grim the outcome, we have to live with it. We have to accept that the past is in the past and there is no turning back. Believe me, I know how much pleasure can be derived from living in the fantasy, even for a moment, that things were different. You didn’t make that one stupid mistake. Thinking, “If I could just resolve this one thing.” It would not matter, though. Despite our gratifying delusions, nothing would change. In those God-awful, painstakingly humiliating, terrible moments, we learned a massive lesson. At least, that should have been your take-away. Without it, we would still be living in the same ignorant lie. Everything we had learned through the trial would still be inconceivable.
So… Why are we so adamant, so ruthless, wondering the “what if’s”? Why are we so cruel as to keep running those same images of a life we cannot have, through our minds? Should we not be rejoicing in the fact that we will know now, where we went wrong? How we can grow? I think- and maybe this is just conjecture- that we should celebrate. Celebrate that the worst is over, the trial has ended. I think, we should delight that we have a Father, so astonishingly loving, that He is willing to allow the arduous trials to happen in order for an even stronger, even greater, proceeding to occur. We, not only are forgiven and comforted my an almighty God, but we also get to rise from the ashes, stronger than ever.
Growth applies to non-believers as well. Not believing in Christ does not stunt your ability to take that crap and realize it was put there or will make you so much stronger. No, it is not going to be easy. No, you are not going to always be happy. Fact is, it is going to feel like there is no end and no returning. Something I have learned, especially in this year, is how you feel is not necessarily always the truth: It’s important to be in tune to, but it is not invariably accurate. You can either allow the world to break or build you and whether or not you believe in a higher power, you still have that fight. It may seem as if the world is against you, but in fact, it has always been on your side. It will always be wanting you to flourish and live on, despite strife. This world, is so amazing. Whether you believe a powerful force sculpted all that you see around you, a humongous explosion, of sorts, occurred, maybe something else, it does not matter! This Earth is here. This Earth and galaxy is so incredible, it lives to embody humanity, to keep us alive and well. It has animals and water sources and plants to nourish us, it has varying terrain to meet our housing needs, it has tree-filtered air to give us breath. It is here for us.
The “What if’s” are unending and insignificant but the “Where will I go from here’s?” Those make a true difference. Those will determine where we will go, what we will accomplish. We cannot change the past but we sure, as the sun will rise, can change our future. We can grow, higher than we thought was possible. The sweetest fruit is produced from maturing. Take the time, processing and growing from that anxiety and difficulty, change it into a tasteful source of nutrients, rather than a draining burden. I challenge you to reject and force out the “What if’s”. “What if’s” bear no hold on our lives. We determine what is to come.