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 feetinstead of squishy toes?I would roll and rolland wheel around wherever I should go.What if I had slinkies for legsinstead of knobby knees?I would boing and boingand spring about wherever I should please.What if I had wings for armsinstead of pointy elbows?I would flap and flapand whirl about wherever the wind blows.What if I had a harmonica for lipsinstead of a skinny smacker?I would buzz and buzzand play aloud and what I said wouldn’t matter.What if I had a star for a noseinstead of a crooked arch?I would twinkle and twinkleand glow around wherever I should march.What if a wish could change my face,change everything I see?What if one more what-if wishcould change every part of me?What if I had spotlights for eyesinstead of a dirty brown splotch?I would shine and shineand flash upon whatever I should watch.What if I had a motor for brainsinstead of a human mind?I would rumble and rumbleand sputter about wherever my thoughts should wind.What if I had all these specialty partsinstead of what I actually see?When I looked and lookedand 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.