We live in a world of What Ifs. Things have certainly never gone as well as they should since that fateful day thousands of years ago in the Garden of Eden.
What if Eve had ignored the serpent? What if Adam had refused to eat the fruit? What if sin had never entered the world?
I recently read Tony Dungy’s new book, Mentor Leader and he talked about a man who almost didn’t go into Ministry. The man, whose name escapes me, did finally become a youth pastor and over the course of his career impacted a younger man so deeply that the younger man became one of the 20th century’s greatest evangelists. That younger man is Billy Graham.
But, what if that youth pastor had given in to his doubts about his calling. What if he never took that path, and instead went to work in a factory or an office? What if a young Billy Graham failed to heed the whisper from God that ignited the kindling the youth pastor had built in Graham’s life?
These are examples of huge what ifs. Seemingly small ripples of decisions made in the past that have turned into tidal waves in the future, affecting countless lives.
But, there are also plenty of little what ifs that might only have smaller, yet still profoundly positive effects.
When I started this blog, it was merely as an outlet for writing my thoughts about my walk with the Lord. I’ve tried unsuccessfully to get a deal with a Christian book publisher and saw this as a way to heed what God is putting on my heart, to share the Word through the writing talent he gave me.
Over the course of the last year, however, more than once I’ve had someone contact me after reading an entry on here and tell me how it impacted them with something they were struggling with, or helped clarify something God had placed on their heart. What if I hadn’t heeded God’s prompting to write those entries?
Unfortunately, over the last month there’s been more than one occasion where I had something I wanted to share on here and I just didn’t do it. Now, while it’s not guaranteed that those entries would have done anything for anyone, the opportunity for God to use them to help you or anyone else reading these words was wasted by me.
And for that, I’m truly sorry.
One thing I hope I can leave you with today, however, is the notion that you should never put yourself in a position where you look back and think “What if…?” by ignoring a prompting from God. The smallest efforts can have a huge impact on the lives of others. A simple kind word to a cashier who is having a rough day, a smile bestowed upon a friend, blowing off a wrong committed against you so that you take in something negative and give it to God instead of back to the world. These all require such little effort, but can have a great impact if you let God work through you.
How is God prompting you to make your sphere of influence more positive?
It serves the enemy if you give in to petty anger over a few unkind words. It helps his cause if you let road rage sink it’s teeth in your heart. The devil rejoices if he can convince you that it’s better to keep quiet than to say something encouraging to those you encounter.
But, you know what? In the end, God wins. So, make sure your efforts are for the winning team and don’t leave any What If moments to fall into the wrong hands. I’ve done it all too many times, but I pray God will give me the wisdom, strength and ability to minimize the moments I let them slip through my fingers and maximize the outcomes when I act on his promptings.
And, I pray he does the same for you.