Monday, 9 May 2011

What if ...?

So much of life is full of what ifs?  Usually coupled with regret and missed opportunity, leaving us swimming in a soup of disillusion and peering ahead with little hope for the supposedly great thing we missed.  I try not to have too many what ifs now.  Well, not backward, hopeless ones, but more forward thinking, opportunistic ones.  I suppose it could be viewed as risk taking rather than optimistic what iffing.  So, where's the harm in a little risk taking?  Does taking risks expose you as a flippant, nonchalant and spontaneous person with little regard for responsibility and consequence, or does it generate an inner core of you that expels great confidence, hope and trust in those things to come?

I often think about why people just don't believe in Jesus and His resurrection.  Look at all the cuckoo crazy stuff some people are passionate about.  Diversity awareness and acceptance of all modern quirks and idiosyncrasies are drummed into us, so why are people so cautious and sceptical about God, Jesus and all things in the Bible?  What are people REALLY afraid of?  I'd like to think the real reason they're hesitant or dismissive is that they have the little what ifs floating around their head.  What if people think I'm a loony believing in somebody that you can't see?  What if evolution is the source and destructive force of the Earth?  What's the point in me believing I'm going somewhere better if there's nowhere else?  What if I'm not good enough? What if I'm beyond saving?  What if I fail and muck things up?  What if my family disown me or my friends tease me?   So, here's my limited take on a sample of little, but obstructive what ifs that people have posed to me over the years when they've questioned my faith.

What if God really does exist?  What if we're so restricted in our intelligence that we simply just can't comprehend the notion of omnipresence?  When new species are found, we see them and accept they were always there, so why is the barrier of sight and proof so prevalent amongst us?  What makes some of us blind to Him, and what opens the eyes of others?

What if God really did create man and woman?  Scientists can now grow body parts from stem cells.  We know they can do it.  They can create a whole out of a part.  So what stops us believing that God created a whole man from the parts of the world He'd already created before that?  Who's to say that the vital components of a human being weren't already part of creation and that God just put them together?

What if Eve was really tempted and really did eat of the fruit and there really was a serpent possessed by Satan?  If we're taking a risk on believing in God here and God is love, it stands that we have to accept the presence of an oppositional force - evil.  How is that evil represented?  If good and love are represented in the form of a being, then evil must be too.  We know that good and evil exist. Doesn't it stand to reason that at the first sight of something good, evil will try to find a way in?  We see Satan at the beginning of the Bible, he doesn't wait around before having a go.  In the same way now, Satan uses deceit and lies to deceive people into believing God isn't real.  Isn't it strange that Satan's existence itself is invisible, yet people are ready to believe someone can be possessed by Him, yet struggle to believe and accept that somebody can have the spirit of God living in them? 

What if God did part the Red Sea and lead his people out of slavery?  If God made the sea, then He surely has the power to rule its tides, motion and current.  If He can suspend Sun in space and orbit planets perfectly around it, then holding a bit of sea back is not too difficult.  We've seen the devastation of a tsunami.  We know the sea can draw back on itself and then surge.  So why is it hard to believe that God drew the sea back in order to save His people?

I could go on forever with my what ifs.  So really what I'm saying is to look closely at the reasons many people struggle to accept the presence and love of Christ and to delve into what's REALLY holding them back.  All too often there is an answer and one that's simpler than we thought.

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