Points to Ponder: Just Say ... 'So What?'
Points to Ponder
Just Say ... 'So What?'
Do you ever find yourself wondering "what if?" or "suppose this happens?" or "what a mess I'll have if it doesn't work out"? Such thoughts can be paralyzing because despite your best efforts and wise preparation, the end result is often not under your control. When I see the possibilities, and even the probabilities, I sometimes say, "So what?"
I have found people who stay perpetually busy to avoid the threatening reality posed by such an open-ended question. "What do you mean, 'so what?'" Yes - that's exactly what I mean;' "So what?" Are some things worth all the emotion and panic we devote to them? Aren't most mistakes somehow redeemable, correctable - or at least educational?
We can't control tomorrow and we can't rewrite yesterday, but today is chock full of possibilities. You may respond by saying "like what?" And; my response is to begin with "So what?" That helps clear the deck. It's a way of releasing the ball and chain attached to your life. Of course, you don't have to like the circumstances. You may even have to accept certain limitations. But, so what?
Sometimes we never get off the dime because we want answers. And you can't have them - so what? Do you ever find yourself' "just thinking"? I usually write about stuff that comes to a conclusive point or a life lesson. But sometimes, I never get there. Some things keep me pondering in an endless loop. Some kernel of wisdom, some "ah ha" moment that has yet to happen; if I could just find that missing piece, that different perspective, then it would make better sense. "How can I think this through?" I wonder.
Sometimes I use the "So what?" factor. If the options before me point to directions that offer no clear foreseeable result, I sometimes look at the possibilities and throw in "So what?"
What is the worst possible thing that could happen? Having followed the trail to that end in my imagination, I then ask, "so what?" I find that there are few things that are worthy of emotional distress or panic. I may not like what's coming or what has happened, but I know that God is sovereign over it all. Somehow, because I desire to please Him and do His will with my life, I lay all the mystery and unresolved issues on the scale of this promise:
"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).
Those who "love God" are not merely those who feel emotionally connected or really like God a lot. It's not about feelings. Those who love God are operating on a level that's deeper than human emotion. Loving God may entail a great deal of suffering and persevering through times of unexplainable loss, or standing alone on a principle which others have abandoned. Needless to say, these are not happy experiences. True love is a commitment of the will. Where emotions will often sidetrack you - or even derail you - the will can override them. You can choose the right course even if it is a painful one. You will even give your life for a greater good because love will compel you from within. Jesus defined it and exemplified it:
"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends" (John 15:13).
Laying down your life for your friends does not always involve literally dying. It's the grander view of getting outside of your self-centered perspective of life and giving your life to ideals, which are bigger than you. Jesus literally laid down His life for the salvation of souls. For "the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, despising the shame..." (Hebrews 12:2). But for you and me, it is sometimes a matter of pouring yourself out for a greater good - for a soul in deep need - and saying, "so what" to the consequences.
Doing what's right at this moment is all you can do. And at this moment, that's all you need to be doing.
Points to Ponder is a series of occasional articles written by Rev. Dennis Whitmore, Pastor of Hilltop Christian Fellowship of Clear Spring, MD. www.hilltopchristianfellowship.com. Listen to Pastor Dennis on WJEJ-1240 AM, Tues and Thurs, at 2:10am and 10:45am both days.