When something goes wrong, I tend to play the ‘what-if’ game. You might play it too.
What if I’d taken a different route home?
What if I’d left the house five minutes earlier?
What if I’d taken that call?
What if I hadn’t stopped for coffee?
…and on and on.
I don’t just play for myself. My family’s misadventures are also subject to mental recalculations. When my daughter broke her arm last month, mommy guilt kept the ‘what if’ game on an endless loop.
What if she hadn’t gone over to the neighbors’ to play?
What if she’d worn different shoes?
What if she’d seen the bush before she tripped over it?
Truth is, playing these games can keep me up at night. But even in the midst of it all, I think I recognize that all this ruminating is pointless.
I can’t change what happens. The only thing I can change is how I perceive it.
What’s more, good can come out of bad. Look at Romans 8:28.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (emphasis mine)
Notice that it doesn’t say good things come to those who love God; rather, God works all things for good. There’s a difference.
Let’s talk: Have you ever been tempted to play the ‘what-if’ game? What helps you readjust your perspective when things go wrong?