Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

February 9, 2012

What if . . . ?

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

What if . . . ?  Did you ever play such a mental game?  You know —  speculating what might have been!  You remember certain times or events in your life and wonder what would have happened if you had taken that road?

As my wife and I were travelling recently, we passed a certain college.  I am not sure who spoke first, but we both asked, “Ever wonder what if?”  The reference was to the college and a position I had been offered.  That began a series of mentioning several things where we had not taken that road . . . and wondering what it would have been like if we had said yes.

I am not talking about some of those things people speculate about:  What if I had married so and so?  What if I had gone to another school?  What if I had not resigned that job?  What if . . . what if . . . what if?  It might be a mental game some people play . . . but it is probably not a healthy game to play!  Too many people believe something else would have made them happier or brought about a different circumstance in their life.

What Judy and I talked about were not choices that we might have wished would have been ours — like it would be easy for me to say “I wish that certain church had called me as pastor.”  Foolish to consider that.  There was not a choice.  I am talking about choices we did have.  Offers and opportunities to which we said “no.”  That is where our game was — invitations and opportunities to which we declined.

That college — so many years ago.  The invitation to become the vice-president.  What would it have meant to our family?  From that we began to thing about several such opportunities and how we might rank them.  There was nothing serious and regretful about our declining them, but it was fun.

We listed a particular church in a a distant state — we listed an opportunity to be on the staff of a Baptist State Convention — we added to the list the invitation to be a part of our National Convention.  Four opportunities we listed.  They were all very prestigious positions.

I do not share this to boast, but to share a truth.  I would like to believe that God allowed those opportunities to come as a challenge.  God has a plan for our lives.  The plan can be missed by individuals because they become flattered with the position offered . . . and prestige becomes the ruler of that life.  But prestige is not synonymous with happiness!

In each situation, after much deliberation and prayer, we concluded that God wanted us where we were at the time — to be the pastor of a church.  I can never totally explain it because I am amazed that I did not jump at the opportunity.  Even with God perhaps testing my commitment, I believe it took something stronger than my character.  Who doesn’t want prestige . . . and such?  I contribute saying no to a faithful, praying wife and the Spirit of God seeking to give guidance.

Prestige, fame, and fortune should never dictate our lives.  I am so grateful for God’s leadership over my life — as a result, my life has had more adventure, joy, and happiness than one could ever expect.  For that reason, I join with the anonymous person who said, “I would rather be the pastor of a church than the President of the United States.  To become President would be a step down!”

Every person must know and do what God has desired for our life.  Therein . . . and only therein . . . is genuine happiness.



1 Comment »

  1. I certainly agree, it would be a step down to be President of the United States instead of a pastor. Pastor J. you perceive things so well!

    Comment by doriswhite — February 11, 2012 @ 12:15 pm | Reply

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