What If?


So nothing has changed since yesterday. I’m still in a boat high and dry on the beach with no sign of floating soon. In other words my Visa application to India remains at the Consulate in process. I paid for a Courier to return it afterwards thinking it would be more efficient. Now I learn that to cancel the Courier and collect the Visa in Vancouver myself will only delay the process further. The long weekend is on the horizon so it’s looking as if we will have to cancel our flights on Wednesday and reschedule for the end of the week.


It has been a challenging week of feeling helpless and consciously determining not to feed that monster. It rises in the form of ‘What if?” What if I’d gone into Vancouver and delivered my application personally? What if Jim had taken it with him when he applied for his visa, because his application went through without a hitch. The question poses all manner of scenarios but changes nothing in my present or future.

I therefore choose to discard the phrase apart from learning that next time I’ll do a few things differently. For the rest, it is what it is.

The photographs on this page were taken earlier this year on Robben Island off Cape Town. We visited the island I’d grown up seeing from the mainland – where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. Here are a few pictures of his prison and the view just over the hill revealing the beauty of Cape Town. Life is filled with paradoxes… if we live from the inside out no circumstance can crush us but rather make us stronger and even more dangerous for good.

From Table Mountain

The lime quarry where Mandela and other political dissidents worked…



Room with no view

Island with a view



I was looking at the words “What if” and spelled them out. I noticed that if I remove the ‘w’ (which can also represent my constant question why?) and rearrange the letters I get ‘faith’.

That’s what I’m doing with this situation. I’m refusing to be stuck with ‘what if’ and and stepping into ‘FAITH’ – which positions ‘I'(me) between ‘F’ (Father) and ‘H” (Heaven).

From that vantage point I have confidence that despite the circumstances God will work out his purposes and redeem whatever is delayed or lost. As Joseph said in Genesis 50:20 “Even though you planned evil against me God will bring good out of it.”



That’s far more constructive and empowering. I’m believing that our eventual visit to India is going to be even more powerful precisely because the ‘getting there’ has been such a challenge.

“Take heart, Let his love lead us through the night. Hold on to hope and take courage again….” This is the song I’m singing 🙂

John Cox

Christian Author

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