sponsored by:

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

What Might Have Been

Send a link to a friend

My heart beat wildly as I lined up in the wide receiver position that cold December night many years ago.

Less than a minute remained on the scoreboard clock in our state playoff game. For the first time all season, our top-ranked and undefeated team was behind, and we were scrambling to score.

The coach had called my play. Our quarterback would fake a handoff to the left, roll right, and throw the ball to me in the corner of the end zone. The play had worked perfectly all season.

If it worked again, our team would win the game. I would be the hero. I would certainly be carried off the field by jubilant teammates. Maybe one of the many college scouts there that night would notice me. Perhaps a college scholarship offer would come…maybe a pro career would follow.

I was brought back to reality when the quarterback barked out “Hut One” and the ball was snapped.

The play worked to perfection, and I found myself wide open in the corner of the end zone. To the horror of our coach, our fans, and especially me, our quarterback inexplicably decided to run the ball instead of throw it.

He was tackled short of the goal line, and we lost the game.

For many years, I have been left to wonder what might have been.

When I think of this incident, I often think of a young man in the Scriptures named Samson. He could have been one of the greatest believers found on the pages of the Bible. Instead, his life stands as an illustration of wasted potential.

Why did Samson fail to fulfill his great promise?

Samson had dedicated parents, dynamic power, and dynamite potential, but he also had a definite problem. His problem was one with which most Christian teens struggle. Samson failed to live a Spirit-filled life.

Judges 13:25 gives this insight into Samson’s struggle, “And the Spirit of the LORD began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.” There were times when Samson listened to the voice of God and was controlled by the Spirit of God. Sadly, this was often the exception in his life rather than the rule.

When he was led by the Spirit, Samson did great exploits for God. He killed a lion with his bare hands, he slew 1,000 Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey, and other amazing feats.


When he failed to live a Spirit-filled life, Samson made one bad decision after another. These bad decisions cost him his testimony, his influence, his potential, and ultimately his life.

Ephesians 5:18 is clear, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.” A drunken man is under the influence of something that controls his behavior, often leading him to make wicked decisions. A Spirit-filled man is under the influence of Someone (the Holy Spirit) that controls his behavior, leading him to make wise decisions.

Christian, God wants you to live a Spirit-filled life. The Lord wants to protect you, direct you, correct you (when you stray off course), and project you to spiritual heights you will never reach on your own.

This simple poem has some sobering words:

Mr. Meant-To has a comrade,
And his name is Didn't-Do.
Have you ever chanced to meet them?
Have they ever called on you?
These two fellows live together
In the House of Never Win,
And I'm told that it is haunted
By the ghost of Might-Have-Been.

Determine today to listen to God’s voice, to follow the Lord’s leading, and to do the will of the Father. Don’t waste your potential and throw away your life.

You don’t want to look back at your life one day and wonder, “What Might Have Been.”

[Tony Bazen of Park Meadows Baptist Church]


< Recent articles

Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law & Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health & Fitness | Teen Scene
Calendar | Letters to the Editor