“What ifs” are weighing you down
I recently watched a video made by John Barklow with Sitka Gear. John is the head of “Big Game Research” for the outdoor clothing and equipment company. He has extensive knowledge on conducting extended back country hunts for elk and mule deer in some pretty inhospitable environments. In fact, before he went to work for Sitka, he spent many years training our nation’s special operations community how to survive in cold weather conditions.
On this particular video, John was talking about what to pack in a backpack for a back-country hunt. He said a phrase that stuck with me. (Spec Ops guys have loads of these). He said, “What if weighs a lot”. What he meant was planning for all the “what-ifs” and then packing for them will make your pack heavy, weigh you down, and wear you out. After all, when trying to pack light they say; “ounces are pounds”. If you’re thinking “what if someone needs a tractotomy” and you pack an operating room full of equipment, you will get weighed down. But is it necessary? You may pack for “what if we have to live on the mountain” instead of realizing that a hunting guide with a satellite phone is close at hand…you will get weighed down.
Take the load off
A few days later I talked to a friend from grad school. He was contemplating a career move and in the course of our conversation, he said “what if” several times. Without even thinking about the meaning, I said, “what if weighs a lot.” I could tell he was puzzled. So, I explained the back story and then told him that if he keeps thinking “what if” he’ll never make a decision and probably stay in a job he doesn’t like.
We all carry emotional “what ifs” with us. “What if I lose my job?” “What if my kid hates sports?” “What if my wife gets cancer?” “What if I hadn’t screwed up that relationship?” “What if, what if, what if?”
If we carry the emotional weight of the “what ifs” we will get heavy emotionally, we will get weighed down emotionally, and we will get worn out emotionally. That excess baggage can affect our relationships with our spouse, our children, our friends, and even the Lord.
Give it to God
As believers, we have a sat phone we can call anytime, not just when the “what-ifs” keep us up at night. So, lighten the load. Scripture gives us the answer. “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon him, for he cares for you” (1 Pet. 5.7 NKJV). You have a sat phone (prayer) and an amazing guide (Spirit) for this extended back country trip we call life. Use it.