My office is getting a face-lift. All the old wall paper has come off and fresh paint is going up. I even get to pick the color! In short I am completely in charge of this change.
This is a wonderful blessing! I have an opportunity to weed out all the junk while the room is getting refurbished. Further I get to make my office what I want it to be and I don’t even need to do the work. SO WHY AM I SO WRANKLED BY IT?!
The church secretary came into my new office the other day and said “Isn’t this a beautiful office you have for the next few weeks? Maybe you would want to make it a permanent change.”
“No way” I griped. “I just want my office back!”
Here I am putting myself out there as this “change guru” or something and I can’t even take a positive change which moves me ten feet across the building without being stymied!
The truth is change of any magnitude, big or little, change in any direction, positive or negative elicits certain visceral reactions which we can do little about.
Change is going to cause a rise in blood pressure, stress level, and inner anxiety even when it is happy change because it launches us into the realm of the unknown.
That is why God loves change. The unknown is the realm of faith and He is always trying to get us to move deeper into faith. But I am the shaky one who doesn’t want to move in faith. So when change comes, any change, instead of my first reaction being one of embracing , I brace myself against it. I Dig my heels in and say “Oh God here we go!”
We all have our own methods of reacting to change. Some refuse to let change happen blocking it at every turn. Others let the change come but take it out on the people around them. Still others retreat into a world of fearful depression, waiting inside the cave of their own malaise until change has passed away to become everybody else’s “old hat”.
I have learned though that while I may initially be put off by change I do not need to stay that way. Nor do I have to feel guilt about those initial reactions because they are not mine. The real me is the guy who responds logically to the change and does not let his emotions dictate his life. So here’s what I have learned to do:
1. I have come to recognize that my initial reaction to change is not the right one or the one I want to have.
2. I try to say nothing negative about change when it is first laid out. Usually I say something like “That sounds awesome.” When I fail in this area I try to admit it and change my tune.
3. I look to the blessing in every change. “For God works all things together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.” Romans 8:28
4. I begin to frame positive responses even to negative change. If I have to talk something out, I use one very close friend and ask him to just let me vent and not to say anything to anyone else about it.
5.I accept that I am a work in progress. I give myself a break when not every one of my responses is appropriate and move on to better responses. “No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.” Phil 3:13,14 NLT
Tell me how you deal with changes, big or little.