"“The game of “What if?”"
(©2008 by: Bob Perks)

8-21-2008 Church Within SOW Seeds Service - Story #506
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Welcome
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Greetings my Dearest Sisters and Brothers, and welcome again to Church Within's Story of the Week ["SOW Seeds”].

This week's SOW Seeds Story, contributed by: Bob Perks

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Story of the Week
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“The game of “What if?”
(©2008 by: Bob Perks)

"So, here's how I see it," my friend said.  "It's all too late for me. I mean I had my shot.  It's time to fold up the tent and close the circus."

He's always been dramatic.  I mean most everything he says is bigger than life, nowhere near reality or simply the way he chooses to see it.

"So, it's over?" I asked.

"Yes, it is!" he replied emphatically.

He knows me better than that.  He's done this to me before. He says something shocking, something so matter-of-fact that he begs for an argument.  He says things like this because he wants to know you care.  He wants to hear just the opposite of what he is saying.

Except for the time he gained so much weight.  I hadn't seen him in awhile so when we got together that time I was very shocked.

"I guess you're thinking I'm really overweight," he said as he walked toward me.

Of course he wanted me to say, "No, I don't think you are. You look good."

I said, "Yes, you do look overweight and frankly very unhealthy.  I'll bet your wife has been after you, too."

He got mad at me.

This time he wanted me to play the game his way.  He said it's over for him and I am supposed to prove to him that he has a lot of time and talent to make his dreams come true.

Instead I played what I call the "What if Game."

"What if you're right?" I asked.

"Yes, I know that...wait a minute.  What do you mean what if I'm right?

"What if you're right?  What if it is indeed over for you? What if you had your chance and now there's nothing left to do?"

"You are supposed to tell me I'm wrong!  You're not supposed to agree with me.  I expect to hear you say that I can make it.  That it's never too late to try again.  Then you always give me a long list of people who started out late in life.  Then list the people we both know who had faced health challenges and lost their job and still ended up happy," he said angrily.

"I am?"

"Yes, you always do."

"Okay, then what if I'm right?"

"What?"

"What if you think you can't and I think you can?  What if I'm right?  What if you spent the last couple of years thinking it was all over and I thought you could still succeed?"

He sat there drumming his fingers on the table.

"What if you just accepted what you think as truth?  Wouldn't it then become reality?  I mean if you believe it's over then you'll stop trying.  In fact, you will create that reality. But what if I'm right and you can still find great happiness in all you have ahead of you?  If you believe that, then you will create that reality," I said.

I could see the frustration in his face.

"Hey, did you notice how much weight I lost?  I'm feeling better everyday!"

"You lost weight?" I said smiling.

"What if I punch you in the nose?" he said. 

We all play these games.  We say one thing but want to believe another.

What if you said what you really want?  What if you do what you should be doing?  What if you act the way you should act if you were as happy as you want to be?

What if today was the day that could turn your life around?

It is.

What if you did everything you could to take advantage of it?

What if you didn't?

Game over. 

What if I said, "I believe in you!"

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Pastor's Quote of the Week
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“Do not allow yourselves to become blinded by prejudice and paralyzed by fear. Neither permit reverence for the traditions so to pervert your understanding that your eyes see not and your ears hear not. It is not the purpose of true religion merely to bring peace but rather to insure progress. And there can be no peace in the heart or progress in the mind unless you fall wholeheartedly in love with truth, the ideals of eternal realities. The issues of life and death are being set before you--the sinful pleasures of time against the righteous realities of eternity. Even now you should begin to find deliverance from the bondage of fear and doubt as you enter upon the living of the new life of faith and hope. And when the feelings of service for your fellow men arise within your soul, do not stifle them; when the emotions of love for your neighbor well up within your heart, give expression to such urges of affection in intelligent ministry to the real needs of your fellows."

(From: “Jesus” - The Urantia Book - Paper-157 Section-2)

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The Prayer
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Dear God,        
        What if… people knew you from their own personal experience, rather than by what they had been told about You by others no less human than themselves? I would speculate that things would be very different.

You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal Parent,

The Creator's Eternal Love to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

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