Today’s blog has a two-fold purpose. First, to let you know that my book has been released and is available on Amazon. Yay! The title is the same as today’s blog. The second purpose is to further unpack the title itself.
What if…? What if you’d married a different person, taken a different job, moved to a different town, etc.? The possibilities are unending. Reflecting on the past can be helpful when done with the right motive. If your desire is to not repeat past mistakes, that’s an admirable endeavor. However, lingering too long on the road not taken can be an unhealthy pastime if you are trying to escape present reality. Looking back on what is behind will only lead to regret. Or worse.
“Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah-from the Lord out of the heavens. Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities-and also the vegetation in the land. But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.” Genesis 19:24-26 (NIV Study Bible 1984)
Now, I don’t expect that fantasizing occasionally about what might have been will bring down burning sulfur, but do you really want to risk what you have now, or your future by wasting time on what cannot be changed?
In my novel, the main character allows a seed of bitterness to grow in her heart rather than take her challenges/issues to the Lord. Instead of praying, she complains. Instead of trusting, she acts inappropriately. Instead of focusing, she fantasizes. Today’s struggles will not go away just because you’re living in yesterday’s dream.
It’s perfectly understandable to be sad about past mistakes and/or losses, to wish this or that had not happened. But, you can not live there. There’s at least some truth to the old adage, “you can’t go home again.” When you find yourself ignoring or neglecting today’s relationships and obligations, it’s time to stop and do an about face. And above all, pray. When the past threatens, pray. When the negative thoughts sneak in, pray. When the disappointment lingers, pray.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
That right there is truth! TRUTH! I’ve experienced it personally, and you can, too! When I can’t seem to pray, I pull out my old church hymnal and sing, or just read the words out loud. I might journal, but I must be careful I’m not just writing a list of complaints, but rather a written prayer to the Lord, seeking His help and wisdom.
“My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:2
Dear One, you will find no help in the past. You will find no hope in a fantasy. But, in the future, you will find promises. And in today, you can find the Promisekeeper. Don’t ask yourself, “what if?” Ask the Lord, “what is Your plan for me today and the days to come?” The past is dead. Live today!
Jesus is the answer to every question.