There are two words in the English language which, when combined, raise the specter of a life that isn't being enjoyed. The two words? I could let you grind on them for a while. I could let you sit and guess. What if I just came out and told you? Yeah, what if I just put you out of your misery and came right out and told you? What if I did that? Well, what if?

Those of you who have figured out the two words go to the head of the class. Those of you who didn't, what if I give you another chance? WHAT IF I make it is plain as I can? Would you get it then? Ah, you finally got it. Even if you didn't, this is a short column and I do have to move on. The two words are, "what if." Those two words have kept people up late at night, made confident people second guess themselves and even wrecked marriages.

What if has been the subject of a plethora (like that word, plethora; what if I had just written "whole bunch"?) of stories and movies. They are all designed to show the folly of thinking, "what if." One of my personal favorites is a comedy, "Mr. Destiny." The hero of the movie is an executive in a sporting goods firm who struck out in an important baseball game in which, if he had just hit the ball, he would have been the hero instead of the goat.

He meets a man who can give him his "what if" and finds out that things aren't as rosy as he thought they would be. Instead of life being better for him and his wife, he now finds himself facing some rather different issues including a different wife, two kids and the presidency of the sporting goods company. The key point of the movie is when he and his former wife are talking in the "what if" situation and she asks, "If your other life was so good why did you want to change it?"

What if you could change your life? What if you could take all the guilt of sin and have it washed away? What if you could renew your life daily? "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day." 2 Corinthians 4:16 This is one "what if" that you can make a "gonna be."