Living the ‘If Only’ Life

One of my favourite movies of all time is the 1946 classic, It’s a Wonderful Life, starring Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey.


George’s life was a contradiction. He was happiest when he was doing what came most naturally to him, but ironically lived with an underlying regret at not doing what he thought would bring the greatest pleasure.


His problem began when he set his sights on travelling the world from an early age. But every time he planned his trip it was taken away from him by different circumstances, causing his vision to slip from his grasp. These incidents were not insignificant, but life-changing events that had profound impacts on the people within his community.

As the years slipped by, George allowed regret to build with each passing opportunity to travel.  When George was taken advantage of by the district’s most wealthy and ungracious property owner, he thought his life all but over. While he had a beautiful, supportive wife and an adorable family his focus on what he was missing plummeted him into a catastrophic hopelessness, where suicide was the only option. Sadly he’d forgotten something very basic, that those whom he had supported over the years when they were in trouble would also do the same for him.

In the concluding twist to this emotionally charged movie, God sends George an angel named Clarence. God’s messenger was a symbol that He will never leave or forsake those who believe in Him. George had forgotten about God, and in his anger dismissed Him as the source of his hope.

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

At the lowest point of his life, and with an attitude of bitterness and anger, George told God he wish he’d never been born.

Clarence was able to grant George’s wish and so instantly transformed his present reality to an alternate one where the impact George had made in the lives of others was nullified. George’s world turned from happiness, love, concern, support and encouragement to one that was bleak and unpalatable. For the first time in his life George became desperate, frantic, nervous and lonely. While this was what George had asked for, it wasn’t what he wanted.

Each of us has elements in our lives like we see in George. Sometimes we have a plan or a vision for our future which may be full of adventure and excitement, yet we can’t seem to grasp it. Maybe your plans aren’t God’s. When was the last time you stopped and considered if God is talking to you, like He did to George? Maybe God’s preferred path for you is the journey you’re on right now. All I can say is that you won’t know unless you talk with Him.  In the meantime, while you wait for His answer, get on with living because this just may be the perfect life for you.

The Bible has a promise that’s just right for your journey, if you are one of His followers?

“For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. They will be protected forever” Psalm 37: 28

George experienced it. I believe it. It’s a wonderful life!


PS: Do yourself a favour on one of these rather cold August nights and watch It’s A Wonderful Life.

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