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  • Writer's pictureMonica Walton

What if...

What if we quit worrying about tomorrow as if it will be worse than today?

What if we quit holding on to the worst from the past as if it still defines today?


Imagine living in a space where we take care of our responsibilities, sprinkle in some joy each day, prepare and plan as best we can, and rest each night believing all will be well. For some of us, that is a tall order and a long stretch from where we are now! For example, I feel certain we all want to be giving and charitable to those who have less and are in need. But, I bet most of us have at least one closet (if not a whole storage shed) filled with things we are holding onto because we think --

"What if" I may need it one day?


Things like:

  • furniture that has been replaced with something new... "what if" a family member may want to use it someday?

  • clothing that is too small or too big... "what if" we lose those extra pounds, or put back on the weight?

  • toys and collectibles that have lost their appeal... "what if" the grandchildren may want them one day?

  • books that are collecting dust on the shelf... "what if" we may want to read them again someday?

  • hobby tools and sports equipment that is no longer used... "what if" we might get back into it one day?

Not to mention the many other bigger, doomsday "what ifs" that enter our minds. Why spend so much thought, attention, energy, and emotion on worrying about the possible "what ifs"? Does it help to worry about what might happen? We cannot prepare for what we don't know. But, we can trust that the Lord will place in our path the people and help we will need if tragedy befalls us. Better to invest our thoughts, attention, energy, and emotion on bringing life into the space we are at this moment. After all, Worry and Joy are equally contagious. Which would you rather spread?


 

One week ago in the Gospel, we heard Jesus ask two of His disciples -- "What are you looking for?" (John 1:35-42) I started thinking:

What if Jesus followed me around for one day without my knowing, then at the end of the day He revealed Himself and asked, "What are you looking for?" I'd want to be able to honestly answer, "I'm looking for You, Lord, in every person and every situation."

Jesus might respond, "I couldn't tell because you always seem to be looking ahead to the future or back to the past."


Truth be told, we find what we are looking for.

When we look for the bad, we find it.

When we look for the good, we find it.

So, what if we change our way of thinking about the "What ifs" that keep us from living generously as Jesus has called us to live? What if we give like we know we have enough to share? What if we trust that we will be taken care of should we one day have a need for the things that we have given away?


Thinking of things like:

  • I no longer fit into these clothes... "what if" I give them to someone who can wear them?

  • No one plays with these toys anymore... "what if" I give them to children who would enjoy playing with them?

  • These books haven't been opened in years... "what if" I give them to someone who would benefit from reading them now?

  • I've lost interest in this hobby or sport... "what if" I give these items to someone who is interested in learning them?


Might this help relieve worrying about the future and clinging to the past?


But it's not just about material things.

What if we welcome a fresh look at our Faith beliefs that may be collecting dust. What if changing the way we see and do things changes us? What if exploring deeper understanding of our prayer and worship practices gives us renewed purpose and a closer relationship with Jesus? 


It's like having a mind and heart that are divided. We cannot stand strong in Faith when we struggle with doing what we want instead of what God wants.

Jesus said, "if a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand." (Mark 3:24-25)

We have to ask ourselves and answer honestly: What if I let go of some things in my life that are collecting dust, both literally and figuratively? Will I still be OK? Will someone else be better off? Will I be better off, and more like God wants me to be?


 

What if we encounter a stumbling block, need to ask for help, and feel embarrassed that we don't know all the answers? What if we meet Jesus there? I believe He would say what He said to Simon, Andrew, James, and John in this week's Gospel, (Mark 1:14-20).

Jesus would say, "Come after me. Come and see what I have waiting for you." It might only be a glimpse of what is yet to come. We may have to trust that He is with us in the waiting -- just like those other challenging times when we are waiting for the phone call, for the healing, for the restoration, for the reconciliation, for the new opportunity, for the sunny day, for the yes, for the next step...


While we wait, we can look for the good and live as if we believe Jesus is with us and guiding us. We can begin living in a space of new "What ifs" like:


What if today is better than yesterday, and tomorrow will be good, too?


 

Below is a wee little ditty that I wrote about my pity in a big "What if" moment last week.

What if ...
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Guest
Mar 13
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Your writing invokes deep thought! With the deep thought, comes change in my heart and mind!

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Guest
Jan 24
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

So many “ what ifs “ in the past , one should not worry about the “ what ifs “ in the future. Just let God guide you through the day and the “what ifs” will take care of them self’s.

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Guest
Jan 24
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Looking forward to a better year. I believe Jesus will guide me. Great story reminding me to worry less.

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susan.hamiltonhardin
Jan 23
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Wonderful "what if" story Monica. Thanks for sharing!!!

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Monica Walton
Monica Walton
Jan 24
Replying to

Thank you, Susan! Thankful it touched you.

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MH
Jan 23

Especially love your “wee little ditty” at the end. 🫶

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