Monday, March 3, 2014

When "What If" Isn't the Point

Sometimes my thoughts wander and my desire to be more like Christ makes me wonder...

What if I could choose to do it all differently? (And by it I mean all the bad "its" of my past.)

What if I could be selfless every time I was selfish?

What if I could obey each occasion I chose my own way?

What if I could live in the truth instead of hiding in the lie?

Wouldn't I be a better mom, a better friend, a better difference-maker if I had never made a mistake?

What if I could go back and give grace each time I passed judgement?

What if I could take back every foolish decision, willful sin, and heartbreaking choice?

Wouldn't I be a better wife, a better witness, if I my life was marked only by wisdom? Only by love?

What if I could go back and make right every wrong done by me, every wrong done to me?

What if I could undo the hurt and redo the gift?

Wouldn't I be a better me if I had always walked in the light of Christ, never lurked in the darkness of the world?

But as my thoughts wind through this what-if maze I'm reminded of the biggest problem with my what-if game: Being better isn't the point.

If I could go back and always see better, choose better, be better by myself then I wouldn't need the best of God.

Not only would a walk as perfect as Christ's negate my very need for Him, but if I had always been the "better me" then, it would nullify the best He's redeemed in me now.

Then while I'm pondering the depths of my transformation, sanctification, and purification, I remember something much simpler: a poem. A whimsical poem I wrote for a college creative writing class about the What If game that kids often play.

What If?

Do you ever wonder,
what if…?

What if I had wheels for feet
instead of squishy toes?
I would roll and roll
and wheel around wherever I should go.

What if I had slinkies for legs
instead of knobby knees?
I would boing and boing
and spring about wherever I should please.

What if I had wings for arms
instead of pointy elbows?
I would flap and flap
and whirl about wherever the wind blows.

What if I had a harmonica for lips
instead of a skinny smacker?
I would buzz and buzz
and play aloud and what I said wouldn’t matter.

What if I had a star for a nose
instead of a crooked arch?
I would twinkle and twinkle
and glow around wherever I should march.

What if a wish could change my face,
change everything I see?
What if one more what-if wish
could change every part of me?

What if I had spotlights for eyes
instead of a dirty brown splotch?
I would shine and shine
and flash upon whatever I should watch.

What if I had a motor for brains
instead of a human mind?
I would rumble and rumble
and sputter about wherever my thoughts should wind.

What if I had all these specialty parts
instead of what I actually see?
When I looked and looked
and gazed in the mirror I wouldn’t see special me.

Maybe it's the innocence of a children's poem that my heart needs to stop me in my tracks of this treacherous what-if game.

Maybe the answer to all my grownup what-ifs is the same one I'll give my little boys when they start spouting off their own silly questions.

Because I know...
What if I had a more beautiful past
instead of the bruised up one I see?
When I looked and looked
and gazed int he mirror I wouldn't see special me.

I am who I am because of the road I have traveled. The one marked with my mistakes, yes. But deeper are the prints of God's faithfulness. The prints that point to Him.

Yes, that is the point.

So instead of the What-Ifs I will choose the Grace-Thanks, being thankful to be special me.


Charlotte said...

Such a powerful reminder. It goes along how God makes beauty from ashes. And I see this play out in my life...God is taking my regrets and using them for his glory.

Mindy Rogers said...

"Being better isn't the point"
I need to remind myself of this every single day! I think it would all be so much easier if I could just be better but you are right! Being better erases my need for Jesus!