Among the brainstorming techniques available to us, this two-word question, "What if?" seemed to work best for me and my teams when I was in the workplace.
The volume of answers cascaded like Niagara Falls. With raging, deafening noise, the ideas converged, crested, and plummeted into a river of possibilities that would never have come about without "What if?"
This question gives us the freedom to think beyond borders and to resist the usual. In my business communications classes and the seminars I facilitate, this question is always a part of the workshops—because it works.
But outside of those activities, I shun asking the question. For thousands of reasons:
When my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer, I asked myself, "What if?" I got nothing but horrifying scenarios.
While on board a plane, we felt it shake and nosedive in the middle of Pacific Ocean. "What if?"painted for me vivid visions of endings, all of them tragic.
Deep into writing a story, I focused on Mary, particularly in Luke 1:31 (NLT) when an angel of God announced, "You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus."
I asked myself, "What if she said no?" Panicking, I ran to our pastor.
He admonished me, "Nobody, not Mary, not Judas, not Moses nor anyone, could thwart God's plan. His Book is unlike novels with alternative endings. The Bible is the beginning, middle and ending of everything and everyone. Period."
That shushed me up good, never asking "What if?" again while reading the Scripture.
By faith, one just has to take it all in—simply because it is the truth.
By grace, one will understand how every piece of what seems to be a puzzle comes together into one perfect whole.