A Sobering Three-Word Question

Last week I bemoaned to a dear friend how I’ve already failed at one of my New Year’s resolutions. “I said 2013 was going to be the year for relationships and I’ve failed already. I’m swamped with schoolwork and don’t have time for anyone!”

She laughed a little and then changed her tone to serious, “What’s the alternative?”

Her question quickly “righted”  my perspective.

“Drop out of college,” I answered waiting for another bomb of a question.

“And then what?” Another three-word question that stung.

“Have lunch with you. . .” Now I’m really tentative about what she’ll say next.

She laughed a little, but I got her point:  the alternative clearly isn’t an option.

If I were to seriously consider the alternative of not doing my schoolwork with excellence it would mean dropping out of college. Do I want to do that so I can have more free time? Yes, relationships are important. With better time management I would have time for lunch and getting together with the important people in my life.

I want to stay in college and finish well. I want good friendships too. To have both I need to quit whining and get about what God’s put in my life to do.

My friend’s question, “What’s the alternative?” is a powerful one for any area of our lives where we want to quit.

What’s the alternative when we…

  • Are tired of trying in our marriages?
  • Don’t want to persevere in parenting?
  • Feel no One hears our prayers?
  • Want to self-medicate with a trip to the mall?

The alternatives to the above questions:

  • Divorce
  • A child/teen looking for love and acceptance from anyone who’ll give it.
  • Walk away from God and live life on our terms.
  • Credit card debt that cripples our lives.

The alternatives to the questions are sobering.

Yes, the journey I’m on is worth it. The alternative is far too scary for me.

What’s hard in your life? So hard you’re reconsidering it? Whatever it is, answer the question, “What’s the alternative?” Take time and consider all the implications. Then talk to God about what you need to persevere in the rich life He’s given you.

Brenda Garrison is an author and speaker who empowers women with the confidence to live their calling. Brenda is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ministry Leadership with a Concentration in Women’s Ministry at Moody Bible Institute. She and her husband, Gene, are the parents of three young adult daughters and live near Metamora, IL.

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