Christie Brinkley was the Heidi Klum of the 1980s. She was one of the world’s first supermodels, appearing on dozens of magazine covers and marrying musician Billy Joel at one point. Even two decades later she is a stunningly beautiful woman. But, she is unfortunately also a perfect example of the lie, “if only.”
If only is something we Christians like to say when faced with a temptation. For me it usually looks like this:
“If only I could get a book deal, then I would be happy.”
“If only more people read my website, then I wouldn’t be so insecure about my writing.”
“If only I had more money, then I would not worry so much.”
If only is a phrase I use to medicate myself. Instead of turning to God in a time of need, I pretend the only thing that stands between me and perfect happiness is one “if only.” But Christie Brinkley kind of ruined that for me. Or rather her husband did.
Her husband has recently been accused of having an affair with an 18-year old girl. He has been accused of having a $3,000 per month porn habit. He has been accused of spending $300,000 to cover up his tracks. What does that have to do with if only? Everything.
You see, in one single stroke, Brinkley’s husband, Peter Cook, has effectively killed a bunch of “if only” statements:
1. “If only I could marry someone really attractive, then I wouldn’t lust anymore.”
Cook married one of the top ten supermodels of all time. She was and is gorgeous. And yet he was addicted to Internet porn. Brinkley’s beauty was not enough to fill the hole inside of Cook.
2. “If only I was rich, then I would be happy.”
Peter Cook is richer than I will ever be. He allegedly spent more on porn every year than some people earn in salaries. And yet, he wasn’t happy. Happy people don’t do things that require $300,000 in hush money.
3. “If only I was good looking, then people would love me.”
Peter Cook is good looking. He is tall and handsome and looks like the kind of guy that knows his ways around Beverly Hills. But he didn’t feel loved. People that are content in the love they have don’t desperately try to find it from 18 year olds. They don’t trawl the Internet for attention.
I might be the only one with an “if only” in my life. Maybe you have never thought, “If only I could get married, then I would be happy,” or “If only I had a different job, then I would be worry free.” But if you have, if you are at all like me, I want to propose something. I think we need to retire the phrase “if only.” Let’s send it to an early grave. Let’s strike it from our vocabularies and pull it from our hearts, because it’s one of those lies that holds us back from seeing what is truly beautiful about our own lives. It takes our eyes of the good that already exists. It makes us blind.
What do you think? Want to retire, “if only?”