March 08, 2018

“…I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live…” –Deuteronomy 30:19

Educators, researchers, and many writers are often united by a common love of history. A popular twist in these period pieces many authors like to explore is the idea of  “Alternative History.” Entire books and films have centered around the idea of these hypothetical questions such as, “What if the British had won the Revolutionary War?” or “What if the Japanese had been repelled at Pearl Harbor?” One of my favorites is: “What if the security guard had not noticed the tape left on a door by the Watergate burglars?” When playing this game, we can easily see how one seemingly small event can domino into hundreds of subsequent events, and eventually dramatically changing the course of human history.

Think of the consequences of some of the Biblical events. What would have happened if Abraham had trusted God, not fathered Ishmael through his maid, and Isaac had been his true first-born? Would the Islamic faith even existed? Think about the current political situation in the Middle East. Would 9/11 have occurred?

Perhaps we can look to Harry Truman for the answer to some of these questions. When he was asked, “What if the South had won the Civil War?” He curtly replied, “They didn’t!” Still, it is interesting to ponder the long-term consequences of man’s poor use of his free will. Kind of makes you pause and reflect on the long-term effects of your own day-to-day decisions, doesn’t it?