What if?

What if?

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection...” Philippians 3:10

Have you ever looked back at your life and asked, what if? What if you had made a different decision in a particular moment? A moment that radically changed the direction of your life. What if you had spent more time thinking about a rash decision? What if you had said, “no,” to a marriage proposal? Or, “yes” to a career decision?

Someone once told me, when you make a decision never look back and ask, what if. However, the older I get the more I find myself doing this very thing. What if I had decided not to go to New York? What if I had accepted an invitation to interview at a church in Burlington, Vermont, where would I be now? I don’t find the exercise frustrating, but intriguing. Ultimately, it helps me feel better about the decisions I have made.

Last night, my evening began with a discussion about Ash Wednesday with confirmation students. A conversation which moved from ashes to mortality and then from mortality to post-death expectations. When I talked about the resurrection, one student said, “What? We don’t get to come back to earth and have a second life?” My response to her reminded me, I don’t have proof of the resurrection, just a belief in it.

Paul was not someone who believed in the resurrection when it happened. Matter of fact, he persecuted those who did. But then Christ appeared to him. It confirmed his question, “What if what they say is true?” It was a question those who did not get to see Christ after his death always asked. Now, even with proof, Paul still wants to know more.

Last night, as I marked foreheads with ashes, I said, “You are from dust and to dust you shall return. You are marked with the cross of Christ and the hope we have in him.” Two of these statements I can prove. You are from dust and you will return to it. And, you can look in the mirror and see, I just marked your head with the cross of Christ. However, “The hope we have in him” is a mystery I cannot prove. It rests in the question, what if Jesus really was raised from the dead? If he was, would you want to know more about the power of God?

Click to read: Philippians 3: 8-14

Discussion Questions?

  • How do, “what if” questions shape your feelings about today?
  • Where would you have made changes?
  • How would those changes effect the person you are today?
  • Where do you find strength from Jesus?

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