make a list of things i was supposed to do

the other night, i got skype. i didn’t want to. i didn’t see the point. i already have ichat so why do i need skype? that’s just another thing i have to download that takes up space. ichat. office communicator. and now skype? that’s a bit of overkill isn’t it?

to answer your question – yes, it was a girl that told me to get it – one of those girls that i’m such good friends with that i can say something that is so absolutely rude that she’d punch any other person but because it’s coming from me and because she knows it’s true, she doesn’t mind. yeah, we’re that type of friends.

but we didn’t start like that.

we started like most boys and girls start. she was 16. i was 15. we both became interested. problem was, she had a boyfriend and i was chasing another girl at her school. for one reason or another, we never dated. the next time she was single, i was dating someone. then we both graduated and moved apart and didn’t really talk for three years or so. then she broke up with her college boyfriend and we started talking again. we never really even considered the dating thing after that first month and just became really good friends.

but what would’ve happened if we would’ve dated back then? how would things be different today? there’s absolutely no way that it would’ve worked out between us, so would we still be friends now if we would’ve dated?

during our conversation on skype, through one way or another, the date came up. that led me to realizing that what would’ve been me and the ex’s two year anniversary was coming up. i can’t ever seem to remember dates for tests in school, but i can remember the day i started dating all of my exgirlfriends and the date of their birthday (12/8 and 3/5, 11/9 and 5/15, 4/11 and 4/5, 1/27 and 11/8).

i hadn’t really thought of her at all lately, but what if we had stayed together? would i be in seminary? would i be working for athletics? would i be pursuing the jobs that i’m pursuing? would i be as active in my church as i am?

it’s really easy to get lost in what could’ve been questions. one different answer to a what if question and your life would be completely different than it is now.

i’m a big, big fan of jon acuff and stuff christians like. in his post today, he was relaying the story of how a guy saw a man at his gym suffer a heart attack and die. the man told jon about it and kept going through all of these what if situations. what if he had done cpr quicker? what if the staff had called 911 thirty seconds faster? could he have stopped this man from dying? what jon said to the man was pretty awesome:

god didn’t ask you to be god that day.

luckily for my sake, god hasn’t asked me to be god in my life. there hasn’t been some jonathan almighty moment where i have to play god. he’s always been there and he’s always been in control.

had it been up to me, i would’ve dated that friend back when i was 15 and probably wouldn’t have had the great friend that i have now because of it.

had it been up to me, i would’ve never broken up with my ex and probably wouldn’t be nearly the person i am today and would’ve been stuck in a terrible relationship.

had it been up to me, my life would be so incredibly different than it is now and it probably would be a lot worse than it is now.

i’m pretty sure i’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating: when i boil everything down, i suck. it’s harsh but it’s the truth. i’m flawed in so many ways. i make terrible decisions on an everyday basis. i’m selfish. i’m self-centered. i’m arrogant. i’m all of these things that aren’t good. if i were to be in charge of my own life, i would be so screwed up beyond belief that it scares me to think about.

but luckily for me, and luckily for everyone reading this, god realized how flawed we were and decided that we didn’t have to do this thing on our own. he basically said hey, i know you guys are going to screw this whole thing up so i’m gonna take care of that and give you a second chance. oh, and to go along with that second chance, i’m going to lead you in the right direction and if you trust me and follow me, i’m not going to let you screw your life up.

i could wonder what could’ve been. i could wonder what if. i could wonder about how things would be different if i would’ve made this decision or that decision.

or i could be thankful that what happened is what happened. i could be thankful that i went through the things that i did. i could be thankful that things aren’t any different than they are.

truthfully, i’m in much, much better shape than if i would’ve done everything on my own. while i thought about what if’s and what could’ve been’s today, i want to sort of propose a new line of thinking.

instead of asking what if i would’ve done this or that, how about we start thinking what if i do this or do that.

instead of asking what could’ve been, how about we start asking what could be.

instead of looking back at what was, how about we start looking at what’s next.

if we’re gonna change the world, we can’t focus on the things that didn’t happen.

if we’re gonna change the world, we have to focus on the things that we can make happen.

say your prayers and take your vitamins.

have a nice day.

-jonathan

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