A few days ago I had come face to face with one of the heaviest emotional decisions of my young, short life. It was a decision that would set the course for the rest of that day. It took intense deliberation and a perfect execution of my decision-making skills. I had to weigh my options carefully. As I sat there in that Burger King drive thru I had to make the difficult choice to either settle for my usual order of a number one medium sized or upgrade to a large. Immediately, all the consequences of my choice were playing out in front of me. If I got the medium it’d be cheaper, but what it wasn’t enough to fill me up? On the other hand, if I got the large and didn’t finish I’d be wasting money and food. So naturally, you can see my dilemma. I was faced with two different choices to make, and both could have ended up negatively. What if I made the wrong choice? What if this decision set off a series of cataclysmic events that would alter my future?
We’re all guilty of this, every single one of us. All of us face decisions every day. And, no matter how decisive a person you are, you play the “what if” game too. It is near impossible to come to a decision without circling through the insane amount of results that go with each choice. I have learned that there is an inevitable truth to life. What ever you look for you will find. If you’re looking for reasons why something will fail, they will be there. At the same time, if you look for reasons it can succeed you’ll find those too. There are no winners in the “what if” game. Life is too unpredictable to be boiled down to a series of carefully calculated decisions. If the “what ifs” in life are compelling you to lead a life that negates the option of taking risks, then you my friend are one of the many people in this world who will never see the full potential of what your life could have been. Let’s be transparent, shall we? No matter how amazingly or profoundly I write this post, neither you nor I will stop playing the “what if” game. We are programmed to weigh the outcome of each decision before we make it. In most cases, that would be credited to responsible decision-making. Now I may not know much, but as I get older I realize that the attitude behind each decision can sometimes be more important than the decision itself.
We often tend to play the negative side of what if. What if I take this class and fail? What if I say what’s on my mind and embarrass myself? What if I don’t look as good in this outfit as I thought? Not deep enough? Alright. What if I forgive this person and they hurt me again? What if I sacrifice this money and can’t make rent? What if I never get healed? What if I never find someone to love me? What if I’m in the wrong career? We can all sit idly by and drive ourselves crazy trying to figure out what can go wrong. Or, understand that our expectancy in a situation has all the power necessary to influence the outcome. I developed this habit of walking around my neighborhood in the middle of night. The other night as I was walking and thinking about a certain situation in my life, I felt God drop something on my heart. “If you are already inquiring as to what may go wrong you are in turn opening a door for it to happen. Satan will find a cracked window and begin to fill the room with poisonous fumes, forcing you to open the window completely. And as you’re fanning the fumes out, he is making his way in. Making decisions based on what could go wrong is putting a winning piece right in to the enemies hands. You are essentially planning to fail. Give him an inch and he will take a mile.” We all have a way of allowing Satan to manipulate us into turning a little doubt (cracked window) in to full fledged fear (open window) and before we know it we’re choking on those poisonous fumes.
But, thankfully there is a positive side to what if. What if forgiving that person gives you a freedom you’ve been longing for? What if sacrificing that money fed a family that was in need? What if going through this pain is giving someone the strength to fight another day? What if giving that person another chance results in them treating you even better than the first time? By playing the negative side to what if, we diminish who God is and what He can do. We tend to minimize God’s ability to restore and provide. We brush off His promise to always bring better, and always protect. So here is my “what if” question for you. What if you gave God the opportunity to do something truly spectacular in your life? We all keep trying to find the win-win situations in life. What we should be doing is remembering that everything was already won through a man named Jesus. He is a redeemer, a healer, a provider, a protector, reconciliation, and anything else you could ever possibly need. Your what ifs are nothing compared to what He is.