Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | January 3, 2011

What Might Have Been

Posted from Cha Am on the coast of the Gulf of Thailand

On the first day of this new year I posted a blog entitled Mountains of the Moon in which I wrote about going beyond — crossing the line that marks the farthest we’ve ever been and the most we’ve ever done for God and His purposes. Crossing that line is easier said than done and often means overcoming fears that tether us to everything comfortable and familiar. The reality is that it is easier to manage the familiar than it is to risk putting ourselves in positions where we have little, if any, control. Anyone can navigate the streets of their own neighborhood. However, it’s only when we go beyond our familiar routes and routines that we actually experience growth and make significant contributions to the kingdom of God.

There is a line in each of our lives that delineates everything familiar and manageable from new God-given challenges that await us on the other side of that line. God did not create us to spend a lifetime being content with what we’ve done and where we are. The Apostle Paul understood that contentment is the chief enemy of spiritual growth and maturity and accomplishing great things for God. That’s why Paul was committed to “forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead” (Phil. 3:13). Straining forward requires that we go beyond everything familiar in order to venture into uncharted territory. The price of failing to strain forward and to cross the line is costly for those on both sides of that line. It is costly for the people who live across the line from our comfort. They may never hear the message of Christ, never know any practical expression of His love, and never experience the beauty of His amazing grace if we choose to play it safe.

Failing to strain forward and cross the line is also costly for us. Only eternity will reveal what might have been if we would have had the courage to go beyond. German author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote: “Hell begins the day God grants you the vision to see all that you could have done, should have done, and would have done, but did not do.” The good news is that we can avoid that kind of hell. Mark Twain offers this sage counsel: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” In these early days of the new year, I hope that you will think deeply about going beyond in the weeks and months to come. Dare to step across the line and to trust God to guide you and use you in ways you never imagined so that at the end of your life you will not live with the regrets of what might have been.


  1. Praying for a great time as you cross lines and reach out daily. Thanks as always for the challenge in ministry through your writings. Thanks be to God for His incredible gift of Jesus Christ.

  2. Great blog Omar – thanks for challenging us to not remain satisfied with the status quo. Fits very well with Alex’s teaching on Zachariah yesterday. Praying for you three to have amazing adventures in Thailand!

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