Sunday, April 8, 2007

Making Change

"Change is a funny thing. All I can tell you for sure is that pennies are useless."

Change is an oddly difficult thing to pin down. In and of itself, it's not really even a thing. Change is simply the fact that something no longer is the way it used to be, that what once was, is no more. Sometimes change can seem impossible, other times merely impossibly undesirable; it is often necessary, but always inevitable.

I have a love/hate relationship with change. Some changes in my life have brought about the most unexpected blessings, and yet other times the things I treasure most are the things that haven't changed — in fact, sometimes the things I treasure most, I treasure because they're the only things that haven't changed. Some changes I cheer and welcome, others I see coming a hundred miles away and dread every inch of the trip.

With all of my various moves, graduations and new jobs you might think I'd be more used to change, but the truth is that I've never gotten used to it. I've said before that it's easy to sacrifice the things you are willing to give up; well, change is often easier when you don't have a choice. Up to this point, for most of the major changes in my life, the way God intends me to go has been very clearly indicated (often by a firm but loving shove). I'm not sure that's always going to be the case though. In fact, for situations in my life right now, I'm not at all sure which way God is pointing.

I am acutely aware of the human tendency to choose the path of least resistance. Many people would change everything in their lives just to avoid changing themselves; as hard as it is to change oneself, it is even harder to admit the need to do so. Just as difficult is recognizing in the first place that it is we who need to change, and not the rest of the world. On the other hand, far too much unhappiness also comes from the inability to accept when it is simply time to move on. How are we supposed to tell the difference?

Gaining a perspective of truth on the situation is vital, but also gets more difficult as the situation becomes more personal. I don't really have an answer for that. There are situations in my life that I still don't have a handle on. What I can tell you is this: if you are wondering whether a change needs to be made, then the need for change already exists. Either the situation is not right and needs to change, or you do. Either your choices, mindset and focus are right or they are not.

I have learned from experience that you can never really know other people's motivations (you can assume, you can even be pretty certain, but that's not the same as knowing), you can never know everything that is going on in their lives, and you can never have a complete grasp on all the facts of a situation; only God can do all those things. Making sure your own motivations are right is the only thing you can do. Figuring those out takes a lot of brutal self-honesty (tempered with some reasonable self-restraint), a lot of prayer and, every so often, the counsel of friends. More important than knowing your own motivations however, is trusting in God's motivation, in the fact that he does have a purpose for putting you in that situation. Between the self-honesty and the trust in God, I'm not sure which is more difficult.



Blogger Mickyann said...

hmmm, no one here EVER has change...somewhat ironic in a society that has changed relatively little in the last few thousand years.

It is amazing how quickly change occurs, though, isn't it? So much has changed just since we were all in college in Abilene!!

By the way, have you been able to see Trey and Sarah much since they got back to TX?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007 9:06:00 AM  
Anonymous a relative of a friend said...

If you really think for sure pennies are useless, then I guess you haven't really read the message that's on each and every one.

Friday, April 20, 2007 9:13:00 PM  
Anonymous amy said...

beautiful. i needed that so much. thank you.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007 9:18:00 AM  

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