Have you ever met people with ulterior motives for the questions they ask? One day I was minding my business at home when there was a knock at the door. I opened the door only to be greeted with a smiling gentleman holding a spray bottle. He greeted me and asked, “Are you particularly fond of the oil stains on your driveway?”
Now, at the time I had a car that could change its own oil. It dumped the dirty oil in my driveway and I poured the clean oil in the engine. I was well aware of the oil slick I was creating, but I had never given much thought to my relationship with it.
I knew the salesman expected me to declare the oil stain to be the ugliest thing I’d ever seen. That would open the door for his sales pitch and leave me with a dilemma—buy the product or be labeled as the strange man with an odd affection for a stain on the concrete.
He had me, so he thought. However, being the fun-loving guy that I am, I decided to have a little fun. So, I responded, “Yes, I am very fond of that oil stain. Thank you for asking.”
That wasn’t the response he anticipated. He was frozen because his next line was predicated on the anticipated response. He looked at me, shook his head side to side, turned, and walked away in search of a neighbor who really hated his oil stain.
Because things didn’t turn out as expected, the salesman was thrown for a loop. He obviously never prepared for any other response. He never asked a “what if” question.
Life often presents unexpected situations. We often make bad decisions when we fail to ask “what if” questions. If we are going to avoid some of the chaos we experience, we must ask more questions in advance and have responses rooted in our unconditional love for God, His Word, and other people. Think about it.
The above is an excerpt from What If Thinking by Terry Hadaway. Learn more by clicking here.