Friday, April 30, 2010

More on "What If"

Fridays by Susan.

Belinda's post yesterday blew me away.  Those five "What If" questions she asked herself were profound in their potential to change her landscape and how she fits into it over the next several days.  By the time I reached the last of her questions, I was already formulating my own list...

What if I stopped doing "what feels right" most of the time and began to ask myself this same series of questions as deadlines approach - and long before they get to the "looming" stage!  Let me re-phrase them in a way that is generic.
  • What if I figured out the most important things that are possible to do today (or this week?, or before that deadline, etc, etc)
  • What if I didn't worry about the myriad of things that cannot get done?
  • What if I made a list of those things that cannot get done so that I don't forget them - and then I scheduled blocks of time to do them at a later date?
  • What if I keep on weighing what is most important, in order to make sure I keep my promise to get back to those things?
  • What if I -in sorting out the above questions - make sure God/family/other priorities get all the time that rightfully belongs to them?
 I am experiencing a time right now when I am sitting on the sidelines for a bit.  I am home for two weeks recuperating from elective surgery.  There are many changes going on in my inner life right now and the timing seems perfect to add this  My emotional response to Belinda's "what if's" this morning was immediate -
  • What if, as part of my recovery, I don't go back to living from crisis to crisis?
  • What if I were to begin right now to live my life much more intentionally and less by "what I feel like doing" right now?
  • What if I began to incorporate these questions into my lifestyle and asked them, not just at times of crisis or time pressure, but what if I asked them of myself every single day?
  • What if I were free - really free - from the tyranny of the urgent?
While I was thinking about Belinda's "What if's" this morning, I saw a funny picture in my mind.  It was Belinda hopping across a river, from stepping stone, to stepping stone.  Jesus was pointing out to her which were the stones she should light upon.  As long as she kept to His direction, she made incredible progress toward her goal.  There were many other good stones that Jesus was bypassing.  They looked solid and some might even have been apparent shortcuts.  But I knew somehow that if she had chosen them over any of the ones Jesus pointed out, her progress would have quickly been impeded. She might still make it to the goal, but she would be splashing through water, arms and legs churning, expending way more energy, soaked to the skin, hair a-mess, flustered and miserable, tossed about by the currents and the flow of the water and the flotsam and jetsam all around her.  She might still get across that river, but it wouldn't be easy.  And it wouldn't be pretty.

I thought about how when I get back into the game in the next couple of weeks, I want to do like I "saw" Belinda do as she was crossing her river.  I want to hop only on those solid stones being pointed out to me.  I realized that I have spent much of my time in the stream, reacting to the river's current, instead of rising above it...  And so I asked myself one more question...

"What if I get up early enough to wait on God for his game plan for the day?  What if I trusted him to show me the right stones to tread upon instead of waiting until my strength is wasted from fighting the currents and splashing through the water on my own?"

What if?

Dear readers, I hope to answer that question next week at this time.  Stay tuned for a progress report.  And thankyou for providing me with a little accountability!


Marilyn said...

Excellent! I just read this aloud to Wally as we head down the road and we both loved it, Susan! Wonderful imagery, excellent thoughts.

A speedy recovery to you. May God continue to nurture your thinking in these things! We are blessed by your writing.

Belinda said...

Wow, dear Susan, thank you! Thank you for rephrasing my own What Ifs, generically, so that I can practice them beyond the current situation.

Thank you for sharing the vision God gave you. It is wonderful to have that image in writing and to be conscious of it.

Thank you Marilyn, for first connecting me to this powerful tool for change.

And Susan, your What Ifs are powerful.

Anonymous said...

What if ...
1. We had not joined you home group?
2. I had not stayed up so late last night reading?
3. I had not gone to your church and say in the bulletin that you were having a home Bible Study?

I know what if ... I would not have been such wonderful new friends.

Happy travels, and get well wishes to you both.

Belinda said...

Ha ha! Yes, I was thinking that very thing today, dear Anonymous friend. I was thinking what a blessing you are to us and how I can't imagine our home group with the two of you.

Susan said...

I, on the other hand, can't imagine it withOUT you! :)

Love, Susan