“It could have been different” is a phrase we associate with regret, lost opportunities and disappointment. At least I do. In all of the conversations, situations and even “random” interactions we encounter, we come to some conclusions as we look back on them. We take for granted when things are good-as if it was all our doing. Today, I turned the tables in my own mind. Not that I want to relinquish my mind to swimming in despair or loss (that was not the intent), but I find it ironic that in all of the good things in my life, by choice or by “happenstance”, that I never considered that “THOSE things” could have been different/worse/not what I wanted. The bath water started running about then, soap bubbles added as I ran through a quick list of things in my head. In that moment of consideration, I jump on in and am washed over with a big tub-filled bubble bath of thankfulness. Funny how my heart speaks when the scum is removed and says loudly “yes, you’re oh so right, it could have been different”!!
Am I talking about playing mind games with ones own self? Maybe. I can think of worse things, can’t you? 🙂 Truth is, we do it all the time in the other direction, don’t we? We encounter scenarios every day via friendships, prayer requests, news outlets etc. that propel us to a hard place. Places of loss, death, sadness, illness, despair reach our minds in our own journey or through empathizing with others. Do I ever go to that place in my mind that says “wow, I hope that never happens to me”? Be honest, you do go there, don’t you? Or am I the only one? And we try to support the broken. We pray for them, while in our own hearts doubting that we could sustain such blows. Understandable. But I wonder if this is the moment to invest in in our “faith change jar”-the one that sits and collects pennies from our pockets. One day, we’ll find we need them; these little faith pennies. By faith we accept grace, we pray for it for others, we “bank” on it being every day when we need it, but doubt in those “BIG moments”. I’m suggesting that the investing isn’t only thinking of our own good and bad situations, but thinking proactively when thinking about others. We vicariously make deposits in that “faith jar” with our thoughts. Isn’t thankfulness in either direction an act of faith? In every moment of what we deem good or bad, it’s pretty safe to say “It could have been different”…clank, clank…deposit a penny. That thankful faith deposit changes everything.