Who’s Writing Your Story?

“What if . . .?”

When I have hope through Christ, I imagine the best. “What if I loved, really loved, my neighbor?” What if I showed my husband unconditional love all the time?” “What if I fully trusted God with everything in my life?”  When I ask these questions and look for answers–ways to live out my life–I seek to reflect Christ and Christ’s love.

When I fear, I imagine the worst. “What if my car runs out of gas?”  “What if I fail this exam?” What if I lost my job?” “What if my plane crashes and I never see my family again?” When I ask these questions, I’m usually in a panic and I don’t look for answers, I just fear.

The way I complete ‘What if . . .’ either moves me toward Christ or away from Him. It reflects joy and love and hope, or it reflects fear and guilt and pain.

I read a post a few months ago in which the author, Don Miller, talked about how ‘What if . . .’ is the ‘single most powerful question you can ask.’ He talked about how great writers ask the question when writing a story. “What if there were a boy named Peter Pan? What if he traveled to a place called Neverland?”  Writers simply ask “What if . . .” to begin the story or to move it forward.

I want my story–my ‘What ifs’–to reflect hope and love. To reflect Christ. I don’t think I need to change my circumstances radically, like asking “What if I tried to solve world hunger?” or “What if I got rid of everything in my life and started a shelter for street kids?” (Although I could!).

But, I need to be intentional about my ‘what ifs’–I need to ask the question in the first place. I need to begin the story that Christ wants for my life so that He can write it.

And, I need to become aware of the ‘what ifs’ that grip me when I’m not paying attention. Those ‘what ifs’ that instill in me fear or guilt or pain.

Even if I desire and seek to live the life–the story–Christ wants for me, if I don’t depend on Him for everything, He isn’t writing the story. Instead, I’m writing the story.

So, I seek to hear the voice. The voice of the Spirit to lead me toward the life Christ wants for me.  And, the voice of self–my inner dialog–that distracts me, so that I might turn toward Christ in those moments.

When I ask, “What if I run out of gas?” (as I did in my last post), I need to turn toward Christ and have confidence in Him.  Perhaps, if I run out of gas, I’ll

have a fun and exciting adventure

have a few minutes to just sit quietly and pray before someone comes to my rescue

get a chance to meet a new person and show them gratitude for their help

The possibilities are endless with Christ. And, the peace that He provides is unsurpassed.

Father God,

Forgive my ‘what ifs’ –those that take the pen from your hand, that make me the editor in chief and relegate you to proofreader.

You write the story of my life.  You provide hope and peace.

You imagined the story of life and the story of all things You placed in this universe.

You give life, hope, love, grace.

You are the author of all.

Let me see and hear the ‘what ifs’ You want me to imagine and to live out. Open my eyes and my heart to the possibilities You imagine.

Amen




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Posted on May 13, 2010, in Christianity, Faith, God, Hope and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Elizabeth, What a great reminder! My problem is that I tend to ask “What if?” about the past. What if I had done things differently? What if I had not taken that first job? What if I had let Christ write my story so far instead of writing it myself? Peace, Linda

  2. Linda – You are right, those are other what ifs that tend to grip us and lead us away from Christ. But, the past is behind us and we have new hope today.

  3. Liz,

    Oh boy! Yes…I have to admit, I sometime struggle with the ‘what if..’ question. Most of the time, what if comes to mind because we feel insecure in our present circumstances. I have learned to speak to my heart above the fear in my head. I am learning…to still the waves before they become a storm. It is not easy…but it is possible.

    I love what you said here…I need to begin the story that Christ wants for my life so that He can write it. It takes obedience…and one step at a time into the direction of His beckoning to write the story of our life…that is, His story interwoven into ours!

    I will remember this…for a while! Thank you, my friend.

    Gladwell

  4. As Linda commented, sometimes “what if” can indicate regret, along with “if only.” Even “what if” as a question of hope and possibility can be answered by “yes, but.” Your post reminds me to ask “what if” in faith and then rest in the stillness so that I can hear God’s answer. Lovely. Thank you.

  1. Pingback: Living Every Day. | From Mountain Tops

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