Skip to main content

What Ifs

CreationFest 2003 with Tom and Laura I expect everyone imagines to some extent. I certainly hope so, otherwise life really would be boring. I’ve found that I can imagine almost anything, quite vividly. It comes in very handy when I’m making up stories for the kids, and probably was more handy when bending the truth to the breaking point as a teen. Recently I’m finding it is also really useful in understanding people. The bloodshot eyes on the kid in Orlando letting me know she’d been to the beach, or the slow movements of the teen whose been hurt.

The problem with that imagination is that it’s easy to wonder “what if”. While it doesn’t happen all the time, I spend a bit of time wondering about what could have been, or what would have happened.

Every now and then I wonder how my life would have been different if I’d married the girl I dated for almost two years in college instead of Erin, really the only other person I seriously considered spending the rest of my life with. There’s the obvious stuff, like I wouldn’t have two wonderful kids who mean more to me than anything. But, to be honest, that might just mean I’d have two wonderful kids who mean more to me than anything with someone else really.

There were some big differences in our own interests, and I have no question Erin and I click incredibly well because of our work, technology, organization and all sorts of other interests. It may not make sense but I’m not thinking about this as being about Erin , it’s about what my life outside the family would be.

I really am a firm believer that God brings two people together for a purpose, and that he brings the right person for you to spend your life with. That does not mean that there’s only one person for any other one person. There are many, many people that God can use, and many people we could marry which would still work to further God’s plan. So, back to what if I’d ended up without Erin in my life.

Last night I was looking through a bunch of church photos I’d taken for a friend. I went back to when I started taking pictures of church events, in 2002. I had over 11,000 pictures, yeah, around eleven thousand six hundred, and I skimmed through them all. Here’s the conclusion I came to.

What if I hadn’t married Erin? God would still have worked his plan through me in some way. But, I wouldn’t be anything close to the person I am.

I wouldn’t have been an integral part in the heart of St. Matthew’s, and the youth group. I wouldn’t have gotten back in touch with the joy that comes from being a kid. I also wouldn’t have been able to really help people through their own problems because of the hard times in my own life. I also wouldn’t have discovered my love for public speaking, writing, and being funny (well, I think I’m funny anyway, I think Erin disagrees :) ).

More than anything I realize God brought me to Erin to give me relationships. I was almost in teams, and outright laughter going through them and thinking about each individual and each situation.

  • About the my first (and second, and third and…) 30 Hour Famine and the teens there
  • About my first CreationFest, and getting to be exhausted and weird
  • Creating three 40 foot banana splits
  • Being thrown into a huge pit of mud and pummeled on by kids
  • Learning what Zombie Tag is, and getting bruised and burnt from it
  • Learning to talk openly about God
  • Getting to take part in the life outside of church of teens, including friendships and relationships
  • Getting to hear “you’re amazing” and getting to unashamedly tell that to others
  • Getting to publicly talk at a high school event, and see the kids minds click in understanding

There are hundreds of reasons, both with teens and adults, whole lives have touched me. In looking at the pictures and talking to others I’m finding that I’ve gotten to be an example for God as well.

Sure, God would have made some of that happen in my “what if” scenario, but this life is more than I could ever hope for.

I have no idea what is coming in the future, but no matter the decisions I make, so long as I’m keeping God in mind I will have some exciting and moving times ahead.

For now, I’ll continue to try not to ask “what if”. The only What If worth asking is:

What if I focused on what God has in store for me, instead of wondering what I messed up (or could have done better) in the past?

What if all of us let go of the mistakes of our past and focused on each and every moment we have right now?



Popular posts from this blog

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Microsoft Access

I've answered this question in some form or another far more times than I care to count.  Most often it's a question of "why do I need a fancy Web application when I can just build this myself in two days in Access.  I mean, the data's already in Excel."  So I figured I'd post out what I threw together, I know I've missed some points. Overview Microsoft Access is an ideal solution for relatively small datasets and a limited number of users. From the Microsoft Web site: “As a desktop database, Access is well suited for small, departmental applications. These applications may start as one user’s project. For example, an employee realizes that productivity can be increased if a paper-based process is automated with an Access application. Other users in the department recognize that they can take advantage of the application if additional features are added. As more features are added, more employees run the application. As time goes by, more and more Access

Red-Gate SQL Compare

Every now and then I come across a program that becomes so ingrained in my daily work that I hardly know how I'd get by without it.  I'll probably break down a couple over the next few days, but for database work, I have never found anything as good as Red Gate's SQL Compare and SQL Data Compare .  Essentially these tools let you compare two SQL Server databases (all objects, users, permissions, functions, diagrams, anything) and update changes to whichever database you want.  This is amazingly useful for deploying database changes to a test or production environment (do it to production with ridiculous care, even though it will generate a SQL Script for you and run all updates in one transaction), and making sure everything is synchronized. For releases we can just generate the compare script, confirm that the changes match the updates we want to go out, and store it all in one place with the release details.  This is true for both the structure and the data, to

Beryllium Spheres

I'm sitting here at home watching The Shadow , easily one of the best movies made based on one of the best old time radio shows.  I hadn't picked up on this earlier, but the weapon used to destroy the city is none other than the same power source used to power the NSEA Protector in Galaxy Quest . I never knew Beryllium was so cool.  Now I want a sphere of my own. Anyone know of other places Beryllium Spheres are mentioned? Peace, +Tom