It was Irish dramatist George Bernard Shaw who is credited with originally saying these inspirational words: "Some men see things as they are and say 'Why?' I dream things that never were and say 'Why not?'"
I've decided that I need to become more of a "Why not?" kind of a person. I should look less at the downside of problems and focus more on the possibilities of what Jesus can do in those situations.
After a recent discovery, I've concluded it's only right that I, of all people, should be that kind of an individual. It took me 52 years to recognize it, but it's right there in my name. Tony spelled backwards is "Y not."
OK, maybe that's stretching things a little, but does your name spelled backwards result in anything interesting?
Maybe the fact that you have to turn my name around in order to find that concept is an indication that it's not something that comes naturally for me. I'm going to have to change a little in order to fit the description.
The Bible tells us about a couple of blind men who made such a change (Matthew 9:27-31). I imagine they had often thought of their situation, their disability, their blindness, and wondered "Why?"
Why did such blindness overtake them? Why did their dreams of what they had planned to do in life get dashed to the ground and broken? Why were they relegated in that time and culture to standing on street corners begging others for help?
But then Jesus came by. Apparently they had heard about Him because they called out to Him using the title "Son of David," a designation commonly used in reference to the Messiah.
They had probably heard about how Jesus had healed others of various physical ailments, so now they dreamed of a new possibility -- the prospect of having their sight restored. And they dared to say "Why not?" They believed that Jesus could do something great in their lives.
There may be situations in our lives which we've often pondered, asking that question "Why?" "Why did this happen?" "Why did it happen to me?"
Or we may have concerns about our families, our nation, or simply about trying to live for God in this ungodly world in which we find ourselves in today which engender such questions.
We can either sit around discouraged and frustrated as we ask "Why?" or we can do as those blind men. We can cry out to Jesus, follow Him, and put our trust in the One for whom nothing is impossible. We can dream of what He might want to do in that situation and say, "Why not?"
Jesus asked those blind men, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" To their credit, they responded, "Yes, Lord." Then Jesus said, "According to your faith let it be to you," and then their eyes were opened.
Jesus is the One who can do great things in our particular situations too. But it's our faith that opens the door for Him to work.
So as we deal with difficulties, challenges, and opportunities today or in the future, let's face them with faith in Jesus as Someone who is able to do great things. Let's confront them with a "Why not?" attitude.
Let's seek His will with the door wide open to all the possibilities. Then let's dare to say, "Yes, Lord, I believe You can do it."
I'm going to try to be more like that. Y-not you?
The Rev. Tony W. Elder is pastor of Wesley Community Fellowship Church. He can be reached at 770-483-3405 or by email at RevTElder@aol.com.