Monday, March 3, 2008

What If?

What if…?

Let your imagination run wild. How would you finish the question ... What if?

The first thought that comes to your mind might be something personal like:

  • What if I had someone who loved me?
  • What if I had more money?
  • What if I painted my house?

It might be something that feels more whimsical, like:

  • What if we could fly (without an airplane)?
  • What if coffee and gas were both less than a buck?
  • What if Superman wore Jack Bauer pajamas?

Your what if question might be something more cosmic like:

  • What if God did not exist … or did exist?
  • What if there was no hunger or poverty?
  • What if there was a cure to cancer or AIDS?

The band Coldplay asks

what if there was no light, nothing wrong, nothing right? What if there was no time and no reason or rhyme?
To dream, to wonder, and to imagine is part of what makes us human. Whatever your question or dream might be, let it be something.

Many consider the definitive song of John Lennon's life to be his invitation for the world to imagine. Before he was shot, he wondered outloud:

Imagine there's no countries, it isn't hard to do, nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too. Imagine all the people, living in peace.
The imaginations of regular people change the world. There was an unknown farm boy who, of all things, liked to draw. His name was Walt Disney. There were the dreams of a young man who grew up in the segregation of inner-city Atlanta named Martin King. There is the constant wondering of a nerd who began by tinkering in the garage. His name is Bill Gates. The stories go on and on. Most amazing, there is you and me.

What question would you ask? What if …?

I wonder, what if we started inviting people to ask the question, what if? What if we began dreaming together about what could be, and what might happen if it was? We are collecting questions and need your help. Let’s have fun with this. Would you:
  1. Take a moment now and over the next couple weeks to write what if questions? What immediately comes to your mind? Jot down any questions that jump out to you. Brainstorming is fun because anything is allowable. If it comes to mind, write it down. Don’t judge or evaluate it. Let’s collect as many ideas as possible. Click the “Comments” link below to add your ideas right now. I also encourage you to continue to think about it and come back to add more. You have the option of remaining anonymous if you like. Please don’t be shy. Go for it! It’s good for the soul.

  2. Send this link to as many of your friends to invite them to brainstorm with us. The sky is the limit. Let’s start a dreaming movement. It doesn’t matter what a person’s background is, where they live or what their spiritual beliefs are. Let’s make the imagination as global as possible. Simply e-mail your friends and ask them to imagine with us by clicking the link What If .... to add their questions to the collection!
Someone once wrote that God
is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine according to his power that is at work within us (Ephesians 3:20).
I am inspired by these words because they invite us to imagine. Too many people hesitate to wonder and dream. These words not only kindle imagination, they tell us we reflect God’s image when we do. They tell us that God begins where the height of our imaginations leave off. When that happens, the world changes.

What if?

Click below to leave your What If questions 6 or comments.


Anonymous said...

What if Kimo Von Oelhoffen (#67 steelers) hadn't injured Carson Palmer (#9 BENGALS) in the 2005 Playoff game?

Anonymous said...

What if freedom didn't come with a price? Would we be free of free-will?

Anonymous said...

What if I had been born talented, beautiful and/or better-natured?

Anonymous said...

What if I had been born a woman in Afghanistan?

Anonymous said...

What if Jesus were to return today?

What if Christ hadn't died on the cross?

What if my parents had an abortion?

What if Judas hadn't betrayed Christ?

What if Christianity isn't true?

Anonymous said...

God had no feelings?

Children lost the need to be loved?

Parents never knew God?

We asked God what we did to please Him?

We asked God what we are doing wrong?

We said we are sorry for hurting God?

We were extra sensitive to God’s needs for us on earth?

Everyone in our nation prayed daily?

We make God come first over our wants?

Anonymous said...

What if we were really brave and strong enough to live the way Christ taught us to live?

What if we committed to pray for all those strangers we encounter each day, even if only for a moment?

Anonymous said...

What if I had the courage to truly live life as Jesus said it could be lived?

Bill W

Anonymous said...

What if we could immediately see the impact (good or bad) that we've made on someones life when we interacted with them? Would it change the way we look at people, pray, walk with God, love, behave?

Anonymous said...

What if the world's food supply, which is presently sufficient to eradicate hunger world-wide, was to find its way globally to every hungry person?

What if American culture were suddenly infiltrated with a primacy of humility and compassion?

What if future generations were deeply influenced by life-like visions and tactile experiences of violence and non-moral interaction?

Anonymous said...

What if there were no Joneses to keep up with?

Paraklesis said...

I am borrowing this from another pastor, but I have applied it in personal and in group study:

What if you knew you could not fail?

And the follow up question:

What would you do?

bravo25c said...

I love that question, "What if you knew you could not fail, what would you do?" I would climb Everest, have a restaurant, teach children the joys of nature, stop the war in Iraq, bring peace to the middle east and africa, help soldiers rebuild their family life, bring peace to my divorce, cure my mother's parkinsons, truely and I mean whole heartily have the faith in God I so desire.

Anonymous said...

What If: America wasn't so entertained by death? If all the TV that dealt with death, dying, crime, bloody violence, shooting, stabbong, rape, murder and molestation ceased? What IF we became a nation of people who cared more about life and keeping folks that way,than obsessing over the details of murder?
What if Hope and Love, were the true character of your family and your friends? What if we each lived lives worthly of the call?
What if>???

Anonymous said...

What if for one day we walked around with a smile?

Anonymous said...

What If – I did not know God and would have not seen the lifetime of Blessings He has given me. I’d be a dried up prune.

bravo25c said...

What if I could turn a "what if" into action.

Ryan & Roommates (Spokane, WA) said...

“What if MTV didn’t exist?”

“What if we knew how many licks to the center of a Tootsie Pop?”

“What if “The Great Bambino” took steroids?”

“What if money didn’t matter and I could spend life doing what I want, and not just check the boxes of what I’m supposed to?”

“What if people enjoyed each other enough, they didn’t have to go do something to have fun?”

“What if I was as good as Lebron James?”

Anonymous said...

What if I really forgave others to the extent that I need/expect God to forgive me?

Anonymous said...

What if my life wasn't so priviledged? Would my faith be a strong as it is now?

What if we could see each other's thoughts?

Anonymous said...

The 'what if' question is effectively used as creativity grease, but could it be even more potent in tandem with the suspension or delay of judgment? What if the 'what if' question wasn't automatically connected with personal preference and predisposition? What if the answers that follow the question were not bound by familiarity? What if the question was more important than the answer?

Anonymous said...

From the St. James EDGE youth:

What if the world was like the world in the story “War of the Worlds”?
What if 911 never happened?
What if your minister sprouted angel wings and a halo and yelled judgment day?
What if the government is really hiding Two-Pac and Biggie Smalls?
What if I asked you what if?
What if cell phones weren’t invented?
What if people had super powers?
What if there really was a time machine
What if there was no war?
What if there was no peace?
What if I make a wrong choice?
What if Jesus was never born?

Larry Eubanks said...

What if the Rockies win the World Series?

What if "the poor you will always have with you?"

Larry Eubanks said...

What if the words "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" had been left out of the Bill of Rights?

Anonymous said...

What if we lived today as if tomorrow did not exist on Earth, but instead we would find ourselves before God?

Would we be more kind?

Would be panic choosing to do works?

Would we listen more intently to God to not miss what He has for that day?

Would we live more vulnerably in God not missing a chance to show kindness - stop strategizing our actions for what they may or may not do down the road?

Anonymous said...

What if you could see what was really going on inside a person, his hurts, his cares and concerns, his troubles and worries. Would you be more likely to treat him with kindness?

What if we saw each other as the people God sees? Could we then love each other the way God loves us?

Walter said...

What if I cared for others... with no one (on earth) looking.

Anonymous said...

What if everyone on Earth really KNEW Jesus?

What if it begins with me...