Just returned from this year’s Christian Camp and Conference Association national conference where the theme was “IF.” During the course of the conference we were challenged to consider the “If Only’s” and “What If’s” of our lives and ministries. As I considered the “If Only’s” … if only I was more disciplined in certain areas of my life … if only we had more money for camp … If only more people saw the value and meaning in a camp experience … and on and on it went in my mind, I found myself deeply convicted about the shallowness of my faith and the obvious limits I have put on God during seasons of of my life. Hasn’t always been this way however, there have been other seasons in my life when I was all about the “What If.” What if I had the courage to dare to innovate for the sake of God’s kingdom and my campers and staff… What if I focused my best efforts on the opportunities that God lays before me more than striving for autonomy, power, or wishing I had the opportunities he gives to others… What if camp was known by all as a sacred sanctuary, a place where God’s power and presence was experienced by all. “What if” is so much more powerful a phrase that “If Only” don’t you think?
“If Only” is a complex statement filled with anxiety, regret, lost opportunity, and doubt, which can lead to a small or limited vision and the inability to move forward.
If God is in it however, “What If” on the other hand, stands in contrast as a statement of hope, courage, and vision… which ought to lead us to action.
God knows intimately the “If Only’s” of my life and yours. That’s why Jesus entered the world so long ago to be our guide to help us move from a life of “If Only’s” to a life of “What If…”
So here is my new list of “What If’s”
· What if … Revival in our country started at camp this summer.
· What if… There was a cure for cancer in my lifetime.
· What if… No one was hungry, homeless, or friendless tonight.
· What if… All people were valued and none trafficked.
Before you dismiss this list as the idealistic musings of a Pollyanna, please consider this. Jesus, by his birth, death, and resurrection makes all our “What If’s” possible (see Mark 9:23-24). I didn’t say simple or easy, but possible if you resolve to trust God’s leading and take action.
Give it a shot…. You know you want to.
So what’s on your “What If” list ?