Sunday, April 21, 2013

What if?

I am quite certain that we have all, at one time or another, uttered the words "what if?" or "if only."  Looking back on unhappy situations, sometimes with 20/20 hindsight, will often bring sighs of regret and wishes for a better, wiser way of dealing with life's challenges. It is good to learn from our mistakes, but it is often painful.  Wouldn't it be wonderful to possess the wisdom without the process or the pain?  Unfortunately, from the time of childhood and throughout our lives, this is reality: we most often learn the hard way.  Hopefully, as we grow older we gain wisdom and have fewer of those difficult "what ifs" to deal with.

The really serious consideration is how our tendency toward "what if" thinking may hinder us from making decisions or moving in a direction that is vital to our well being.  What if I delay or shy away from taking a step in life that will lead me on a path toward wholeness and healing?  If I do, I will most certainly come to a "if only" place of regret. 

 There is the place, however, when the "what if" contains hope rather than fear and potential regret...when it leads to courage and  conviction.  The following lines from a song hold out that hope.

"What if you're wrong, what if there's more?  What if  there's hope you've never dreamed of hoping for?  What if you jump, just close your eyes?  What if the arms that catch you, catch you by surprise?  What if He's more than enough?  What if it's Love?  ~ Nichole Nordeman ~

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Soul Soggy!

My little granddaughter just didn't seem like her cheerful, enthusiastic self.  She didn't seem particularly upset or unhappy, but there was definitely something not quite right.  I sat down beside her and tried to think of a good way to initiate a conversation that would give her an opportunity to express anything she might want to talk about.  I looked at that sweet, but uncharacteristically somber, face and said " Are you doing okay, honey?  You just look a bit....soggy."  With a little sigh, she replied "Oh, Gramma, my soul is soggy." 

 I'm glad to say it was a very temporary soggy state....she was her usual happy self in a short time.  But I kept thinking of the words she chose to describe her mood, and I could relate!  I have been there.  I have been soul-soggy.  I imagine all of us have, at one time or another.  Thankfully, for me it is almost always, like Hannah's, a short lived experience.  But there are those days, or moments, when I just feel....soggy.  Soul soggy.  Most often, it is nothing I can put my finger on, nothing obviously wrong, just....a feeling of not-quite-rightness.  It might be called the "blues" or "malaise" or feeling "out of sorts", but I think soul-soggy is a much more accurate description. Wisdom from the lips, and heart, of a child!

The best news is that I know the antidote for soul-sogginess.  Psalm 103:2!  "Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and forget not all His benefits."  Just as my little granddaughter's attention was soon drawn to some delight, some wonderful childhood joy, and her sogginess melted away, I too find my own soggy state mended when I consider all my Father has blessed me with and turn my focus there.  One cannot remain soggy while giving thanks!

And so today's quote comes from an unexpected source, spoken at the breakfast table, with simplicity and honesty.

"Oh, Gramma, my soul is soggy."  ~Hannah~