What If...

Written By Mr Royce Mahoney - Director Teaching and Learning

This week Mr Kenny led our devotion by asking a series of questions that started with the prompt ‘What If …’.

This led me to thinking about people who spend their whole time worrying about possibilities instead of actualities.

For example, the student who stresses about their assessment and what if I fail, or what if the exam covers things I don’t know. The teacher who stresses about what if the students don’t submit their work or what if they don’t understand the content. The parent who worries about what if my child is bullied or what if they make poor decisions.

This type of worry might be a prompt that is healthy to kick us into action but it can also become overwhelming and debilitating. The actuality for each of these situations is trusting in the now, the work has been done, the effort that has been made and knowing that in each situation the ‘What If’ is something that is within our influence. Sure, we ponder the future and seek questions about the potentiality of future events, research, changes to the world, new things to come … the possible. This is a fantastic mindset that has sparked some of the greatest thinkers of our time and of times past.

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Let’s think for a moment about a what if that is very relevant to Christians. What if Christ had not risen? Does that mean that all we do and all we believe is pointless? In Corinthians the apostle Paul uses logical arguments to teach about resurrection and faith. He asks, in effect, ‘What if’ the resurrection never happened? What if the Lord Jesus had not risen from the dead? What if we have fooled ourselves into believing we serve a risen Saviour?

Then, in response, Paul says, "If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins." Without the resurrection, life is a one-way journey to nothing. Without the resurrection, we have no future—no hope of eternal life. However, it is in our control. Through our belief we do have purpose. Through our belief and actions, we live a Christian life that provides meaning and clarity. We are not stuck in the realms of ‘What If’ that is overwhelming and debilitating. The actuality for us is that we know how to live and what we live for.   

Jesus has overcome death so that we share in the righteousness obtained for us. And so, we are able to feel secure and confident and live with purpose and joy. Similarly, the examples given at the start of the student, the teacher, and the parent can all rest assured in the work they have done, the efforts they have made and know that God has provided for each of them in a unique way.

It is fantastic that we contemplate the future and that we have people with God given talents to help shape our world, be creative and to make changes we never thought possible. ‘What Ifs’ are magical in this way. However, we do not need to be overwhelmed by them, or feel inadequate or debilitated by them, because we know that we are secure in our future.