Have you ever seen that episode of Friends? The one where Chandler admits he doesn’t know anything about relationships…so when given a quiz by his friends as to what he should do when Janice returns from a flight, he fails…because he missed secret option #3 – meet her at the gate! (This kind of dates the show, since this isn’t even an option any more.) He didn’t even realize there was a secret option #3! Those secret options get you every time!
Over the last couple of days, my friend Josh Simpson and I have texted back and forth talking about different events and activities. Josh is a pretty positive guy – he usually sees a bright side to things. I’m more subdued in my response to uncertainty – I’m more of a pragmatist. Yesterday as we were texting, he responded to one of my texts with “could be a good thing.” To which I said “Then again, it could be a bad thing. Or it could be no thing. you just never know.” Those seem to pretty much be the options for most events – good, bad, or neutral (or some composite of those.)
This morning Josh and I were again texting back and forth. He gave me the same response “could be good” and I gave him the same response from yesterday “then again, it could be bad. Or it could be nothing. Those will always be the three options.” And can you believe it, he disagreed with me!
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:27–28 NIV)
There you go. There’s secret option #3. And it’s not really a secret. Our life of love, dedicated to following his purpose really ensures a single outcome…not three. Pragmatists, like myself, need to be careful. We can discount God’s promises without intending to. Josh’s last thought was good – “the truth will always be that if we follow God, it’s always for our good.”
Let’s make that our focus. Let’s worry less about the outcome. Let’s leave that to God. Let’s focus on following God in obedience and trust him to fulfill his promises.