Would you change the way things were?
March 6th, 2019
We use what-if scenarios a great deal in planning the course of action for businesses and organizations. Many people use these scenarios to plot the best course of their personal and family dealings.
What if I were to get training in something; something else would be true.
What if this person were to do that; it could cause this.
What if we sell our product for this amount; sales could be that!
It’s speculation someone can use to predict potential consequence; be that beneficial or undesirable.
A friend of mine asked… “What if, you could go back in your history and change one thing, would you?”
I had to answer, no.
God has architected our existence in such a way we become the people we are because of our experiences. No matter how much someone might be tempted, each event changed, would alter the outcome.
We might like the thought of making a decision that would cause wealth and prosperity, but not see the pitfalls of those decisions and how they would impact our present selves.
God uses the sum of our experience to mold us into the people we are now. That result may not have you where God would have you be, but altering the path we’ve traveled ultimately would change who we are and what our circumstances would be right now.
There is a song about the love between a man and a woman that the lyrics suggest that every long and dusty road led him to her; every storm endured; every river crossed.
Musing about the past and how we might have done it differently is of little value. The only significant value would be perhaps to identify mistakes we’ve made and correct those issues going forward. But we can’t go back and alter the past. Our existence here is linear by nature once we have crossed one point in time we are never to go back and relive that moment. The premise of the movie Ground Hog Day is a fallacy.
God didn’t design the universe in that way. He placed us inside a time bubble that only moves in one direction. The only means of escaping that bubble is when this life is over here, and we have come to the end of ‘our time’. What we do with this time determines the what-if of eternity, when we are outside of that bubble of time.
Therefore, the ‘what-if’s used to consider our path forward is helpful, but we cannot return to a point where we can alter an event or circumstance. Time just doesn’t work that way.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
1 John 2:15-17 (ESV)
Jesus talked about abiding in him.
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
John 15:5 (ESV)
The important ‘what-if’ isn’t about changing things behind us, its value is about structuring things going forward. The God who created time desires we his creation abide in him. His intent and desire were established when he created this time bubble and placed us here. His desire to have a relationship with us, and for us of our own free will to glorify and honor him.
We proved consistently that we, as a whole, could not meet his standard for our existence because of the extreme corruption of our flesh. There was and is, only one way he could redeem his creation to have for his own.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
John 3:16 (ESV)
The Lord God sent his only son into this time bubble to establish a purifying flow that would redeem humanity and enable us to abide with him now and evermore.
The important what-if’s to ask are:
- What if, I surrendered my life to the God of Creation?
- What if, I didn’t?
- What if, I honored my commitment of service to Jesus and became the disciple he calls me to be?
- What if, I was obedient to Jesus’ commands and focused with all my ability to love, forgive, and share the grace he has imparted to me?
- What if, I surrendered service to myself and instead served God and others?
- What if, I was to rededicate my life to the one that gives me life?
- What if…
Having regret for the path we’ve traveled to this point in our lives isn’t helpful if the result doesn’t bring us to a point of surrender to God’s plan for our lives. Accepting it in faith and pressing forward in accordance to his will for us.
In short, abiding in him! “What if”, we abide in Christ Jesus today?
In His Grace,