What If?

May 10, 2012

“…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

History buffs enjoy playing a little game called “Alternative History.” Entire books have been written exploring such 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: “What if the security guard had not noticed the tape left on a door by the Watergate burglars?” When playing this game, we soon see how one seemingly small event can domino into hundreds of subsequent events, eventually changing the course of human history dramatically.

Think of the consequences of some of the Biblical events. What would have been the consequences if Abraham had trusted God, not fathered Ishmael through his maid, and Isaac had been his true first-born? Would the Islamic faith have ever existed? What would be 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.