In life, there are a lot of “what ifs”. What if things don’t go like I planned? What if I fail? What if I’m not enough? What if I stumble? What if I fall? What if I lose my step and make fools of us all? (If you didn’t get that DC Talk reference I’m sorry you missed out on some of the best contemporary Christian music of the late 90s/early 2000s.)

These “what ifs” normally move us towards fear. Fear about us not having life go the way we envisioned it. Fear that we can’t do what we want. Fear that failure will define us. “What ifs” bring fear because “what ifs” generally come from us thinking about things out of our control. The truth about life is that we really don’t have that much control. Sure, if we make stupid decisions there will be consequences for our actions, but most of the time we don’t really know what will happen to us. Sickness happens, death happens, and accidents happen on a daily basis. I’m not saying this to be morbid, but to show that terrible things happen that we don’t expect and we fear. When faced with this reality, we can either: freak out and cry a river of tears, or we can accept the mystery and adventure that is life, taking the good with the bad, and take the expected with the unexpected. 

If you feel a pull to make a positive difference in this world, do it. You can spend your whole life thinking about all of the “what ifs” and be afraid of what might happen, or live life to the fullest by jumping into something we think could make a difference and do some good in this world. Make it a calculated decision, but if it’s fear of failure that is holding you back, stop the fear of failure. Failure isn’t failing, failure is a chance to learn something about ourselves, life, and how to overcome obstacles. A question you should ask yourself, however, is are you willing to suffer for your dreams? Because the truth is, any dream you’re not willing to suffer and endure hardship for isn’t a dream worth having at all. Dreams worth having will be lofty, require diligence, facing hardship, and some form of suffering. Suffering may not be physical, but this dream may require a pay-cut. This dream may take a lot of time. This dream may be costly to your social life.

As a Christian, I think that spending a lot of time in prayer about this kinds of decisions will show us what to do. God didn’t create us to live in fear of “what ifs”, but to live through the Holy Spirit and follow the ways of Jesus. I also believe that God gave us certain passions (that aren’t sin. Let’s be honest, we all sin, and kind of enjoy it or we wouldn’t sin. So don’t think I’m telling you to do things you like, because the implications of that would be terrible, even for me.) to act on so that we can be The Church (as in collective group of Christians, I’m not talking about a specific denomination) to the world, redeeming creation in all kinds of ways, through preaching, teaching, and taking care of the oppressed and powerless, with absolutely no expectation of anything in return. 

Maybe you’ve been seeing a spark in your soul lately to do something. Get some kindling and start the fire. You might be surprised to see what happens.