How many times have we heard the phrase "what if...?" We can use it to speculate on how our lives might have been different: What if I chose X college instead of Y? What if I chose to take that job in East Lalapalooza instead of staying here? What if... And we can go on and on with these speculations.
We can also wonder how things would have been in the following situations:
What if President Kennedy had cancelled his trip to Dallas in November of 1963?
What if Adolf Hitler had ended up as just a mere corporal in an army?
What if the American intelligence community had discovered and thwarted the plans for September 11, 2001?
And perhaps a real wonder:
What if Mary had declined the offer of the Angel Gabriel thousands of years ago?
These speculations might form interesting table conversation but they are, after all, just speculations and can never really happen because those historical facts and events will never change.
But is there a way in which "what if..." can be relevant? I think if we would think about some of the following, it might be:
What if I do not "rush to judgment" when somebody does something I think is foolish?
What if I make the effort to be kinder to everyone I meet?
What if I spend more time in quiet rather than in the constant hustle and bustle of everyday life?
What if I take more time for prayer?
What if I refrain from talking on my cellphone or texting while I'm driving my car?
What if I try to reconcile with someone from whom I have become estranged?
What if I look more to the future than wallow in the past?
These are all questions that can be resolved and can become reality because they look to the future and make us look at what our behavior might be. We can bring these things about if we make the effort.
Perhaps we should take more time and make the effort to allow these speculations to become real in our lives. Otherwise, what if...?