Tonight my wife, my oldest son, and I went to see the musical If/Then. To say it was incredibly amazing is an understatement. Very rarely does a musical delve as deeply into the human situation as this show did. I left with a deeper appreciation of the decisions that I made in my life and very grateful for the life that I live.
The plot of the story centers around a character that makes a decision in one moment in the park. The one decision she makes affects her story line and the audience actually witnesses one of the many paths that her life could have taken had she made the “other” choice. Sounds complicated? It was and it was wonderful.
So, I kept thinking of several pivotal moments where a decision that I made changed or altered the course of my life. I think back on making the decision to pursue my academic career versus a career in the performing arts. What a difference a choice would have made. My life would most likely be completely different than what I know today.
I look back on the choice that I made to commit to Cazandra in that small little apartment on Beechnut in Houston. How different the path would have been had I not followed my heart. Thank God I listened, because I could not have imagined loving someone more fiercely or passionately as my wife. It is because of her that I have my children and have listened (with her patience and support) to God’s call on my life. Everything I have and am is based on this one little dinner at one little apartment. What if her room mate would have answered the call and come over to eat with me? It is crazy to think that one little choice could have such amazing consequences.
While I often wonder “What if?” I always come back to “Thank God for now!” When times get tough one of my first things to do is map or attempt to re-chart my life and wonder how I might recover the “other.” While that is fun and all the truth is that I would not want the “other” if I had to give up the “now.” I am grateful for what my life has become and do not regret that it never became something else.
My hope is that we all look on our lives and say, “Thanks be to God!” and not, “Woe be to God!” Let us be grateful for now; where we are, and whose we are. We are not a people created to live in regret. We are meant to give thanks for the now and look forward to what is to come.