What If Fantasies

Have you ever dreamt of being someone else?

I never thought I would. I've lived a pretty good and stable life. I've got a great job. I have 3,000 friends on Facebook. I get to watch movies, go to the beach and enjoy my daily dose of coffee everyday. My family is super supportive and there was never a time that I felt my efforts will materialize to what could be great results.

Until you start entertaining the "what ifs" in your life.

I always wanted to be a film director. As a kid, I would write furiously about movies I'd like to make. I tried to be a Business Economist, but the lure of media and broadcasting caught me, and I could not have been happier. Working in a callcenter and trying to survive through college was one of the most hectic periods of my life. But I was happy because I got to do exactly what I wanted to, and that is trying to fuel my creativity through media.

And then came the need to put myself through school financially. I needed to start working to fund for my education, and while I enjoyed exactly what I was doing in school, I also started to see that my BPO career showed some promise. I graduated from college with a cum laude distinction as a callcenter supervisor, and it made perfect sense to pursue my career in the field that I knew I could excel in.

And then comes those moments where you entertain those nagging thoughts in your head. What if I decided to pursue broadcasting instead? What if I said yes to an offer to work for a magazine instead of taking on a team? What if I chose to direct films instead of directing a program?

What if? What if? What if?

We all have those moments. Whether it's in the area of career, life or relationships, we all know that there were endless possibilities that we could have said yes (or no) to. That if our decisions were different, we could have been living an entirely different life by now. We entertain ourselves with thoughts on what could be, instead of focusing on what is. This may not occur when things are going smoothly, but the thought of what if becomes strangely comforting in the midst of a difficult trial in your life.

We always hear about how we could take control of each and every situation, and every time I tried to put matters into my own hands, I realized that I was setting myself up for failure. I thought I could be stronger than I really was. I allowed things to happen because my efforts, historically, showed me that I could be successful at something if I followed a specific solution. But I realized that God didn't work that way. His way has always been different from mine. He had His reasons. The reasons may not have made sense to me initially, and in some cases, it doesn't make sense to me now either.

But God is not a quick fix solution. He's not a genie that will magically throw my problems away. I used to treat God as a vendo machine, that after throwing in my coins of prayer and requests, He would just automatically spew out blessings like they were candy bars.

This is because I comforted myself in my own ways, my own efforts and my own decisions. And asking what if and what could have been makes me doubt God's real plan for me.

He wasn't offering me a solution. He was offering to save me.

He wasn't presenting me with a diagram. He was providing me with a dependency.

He wasn't giving me a routine. He wants to give me a relationship.

And that's something that I continue to struggle with when I try to stick to what ifs, what I think would and wouldn't work. But what if I decide to just stick to Him even when everything seems to go in the wrong direction? What if I decide to just obey instead of measuring myself against the world's standards?

My what ifs continue to be unanswered, but in the middle of stress, turmoil and despair, the comfort of what could have been should not be my refuge. A zany dependence on His grace would be my answer, and knowing that this will all make sense in the end should be good enough for me.