It's Only...
Off the Wall - June 11, 2009

Recently, a friend and I were discussing hockey, and we happened to get on the subject of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He related that a friend of his actually throws things at the TV when things don’t go his way. I told him I vent vocally, and let it go at that.

As we conversed, he commented, “But it’s only a game that we can’t control, so why get bent out of shape in the first place.” I then corrected him by telling him the Penguins aren’t just any ol’ team. They are our hometown fellows partaking in prestigious games.

Not long ago, I was watching a TV show. During a program, a lad happened to mention to his father, “It only sex. What’s the big deal?” In today’s society, the act may be acceptable, but that no way makes it morally correct according to biblical standards.

It’s humorous how two words can jar the gray matter of some folks. One “dear” friend wrote, “Remember the song called, ‘It’s Only a Paper Moon?’ It became a jazz standard in the 30’s. The chorus goes, ‘Say, it’s only a paper moon, Sailing over a cardboard sea, But it wouldn’t be make-believe, If you believed in me.’” Isn’t it wonderful he thought I’d remember that? Bet he thinks I’m a tad older. Humbug!

Another gent told me he keeps a song running through his mind all day – “It’s only make believe.” He gave reference to the idea, “If only I could have a real singing voice.” I guess he is not happy with his shower renditions. He went on to say that when one make believes, he is escaping to a place in his mind where he can be content, “until if only…”

We have all aged, needless to say. So, when Tessy Tarsopple from Harrisburg, PA, wrote and began her sentence with “It’s only a phase he or she is going through,” who can’t relate to that statement, especially those who have teenagers still living at home?

I don’t know of a parent who doesn’t hope that each child they have raised sheds the bad habits and forms new and more mature ones by the time they graduate from high school.

I was having an online discussion with Rick from Washington, D.C. not long ago. We seemed to disagree concerning everything we discussed. When we got on the topic of abortion, I declared how wrong it was to kill babies. He seemed to indicate it’s only flesh in the mother’s womb. He couldn’t grasp why the act was so wrong.

Personally when I think of those two words, they can be used various ways. For example, “It’s only 11:45 p.m. We can stay out much later.” It’s only one worm. There are more where that came from.” And third, “It’s only a dream. It won’t come true.”

I have come to the conclusion that, according how they are used, these words can mean really different things. For example, when the youth exclaimed, “It’s only sex,” he not only was being defiant, but rebelling against society’s rules laid down way before he was born. Premarital sex is wrong. His parent definitely missed the boat by not teaching him that. My scholarly, witted friend was sharing what had come to his mind when asked what surfaced when hearing those words. What surfaced was a song from the 30’s.

Another related that “If only” he could escape, he could be more content. I have but to add that if one strives for all his heart to embrace Jesus Christ in his life, he will find that peace. Tessy I’m sure can relate to phases, for she and her husband reared a daughter, and now that woman has grandchildren, and can relive each one as the children grow up. And need I say Rick needs to be touched by the Holy Spirit, for that may be the only way he’ll change heart. My personal observations are pretty much self-explanatory.

When someone begins a sentence with the words, “If only,” try to get to the root of the comment and then agree or disagree. He could be trying to tell you something. Listen.

One fellow told me recently, “I like this story because it’s only a short one!” Well said!

Article by:
Paul J. Volkmann
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