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What if?

October 1, 2012

Do you ever wonder about the “what if?” What if I had went to a different college? What if I had taken a different job? What if…..

Recently I was thinking about what if I hadn’t been a Christian when I met my wife. What if I was the same person I had been before placing my faith in Jesus Christ? What would the relationship have looked like?

You see I met my wife at my very first job out of college. She was not a follower of Jesus when we met. We worked for the same company, Gibson’s Discount Centers Incorporated. I was working in the advertising and marketing department putting together some of the most impressive ad circulars you have ever seen. She started working in the construction department answering phones. They had a popcorn machine up there and I like popcorn.

I spent a lot of time up in their offices. The construction guys were often gone, out at various stores doing work or preparing to open new ones. That left Lori up there by herself. I remember a lot of rubber band wars. I enjoyed being around Lori. I found her to be very attractive.

Our first somewhat date came at the company casino night, a fundraiser for charity. We went together but it wasn’t really an official date. More of a I’m going and you are going so why don’t I give you a ride.

We went to the house my wife to be was renting afterwards and played foosball. I wanted to kiss her but I didn’t. You see before I gave my life to Christ I struggled with women. Well I wouldn’t have called it a struggle. I liked to sleep with them. As a follower of Jesus I knew it was a weakness so I had to be careful. Careful not to touch. Careful not to kiss. Careful because once I got going it was hard to stop. Careful because I didn’t want to get physically involved with anyone who was not a follower of Jesus Christ. We could be friends and we could go on dates but no holding hands and definitely no kissing.

That brings us to the “what if.” What if I had met my wife before I became a Christian? What if the old Darin had met was giving her a ride home after casino night. What would have happened after playing a few games of foosball? Obviously drinking would have been involved. Obviously I still would have found her attractive.

The “what if” tells me that if we hadn’t have slept together that night it would not have been long. It was hard enough after she gave her life to Christ and was baptized. There is a reason we were married four months later.

And yet if I wasn’t a Christian it wouldn’t have been the same. I doubt if I would have given marriage a second thought. We would have had some fun but how long would it have lasted? A month? Year? I doubt I would have ever married her unless she was pregnant. I doubt I would have ever been faithful.

“What if.” I think it is easy to miss how blessed we are as followers of Jesus Christ. Even through the hardship and pain. I think it is easy to rewrite our past and say it would have basically been the same. I think far too many people don’t realize how much their current experience has been shaped by Jesus Christ. Those who never believe probably have it the worst. They have no “what if” not because one doesn’t exist, our country has been blessed by Jesus because He has shaped so much of the experience, but because they don’t recognize it.

I do. I can. This morning I pray for those who do not know Jesus Christ. That do not have a “what if.” I pray that the Holy Spirit give them a glimpse of what it could be. I pray for those who follow Jesus that the never believe the lie that life would be the same just with less to worry about or be responsible for. I pray they never find out about the “what if.”

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