Thursday, November 29, 2012

A BRIGHT PERSPECTIVE ON CHANGE


By:  D. Armstrong

If there is anything certain in life, it is change. If we could design our own lives, they would be filled with all that we want and nothing that we don’t want. Life, however, doesn’t work that way. Life is about growth and progression. Flowers bloom and fade; seeds sprout and grow; butterflies undergo four distinct life cycles; and the list goes on.

The bible is full of examples on transformation. A notable record is found in II Corinthians 5: 17—"Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; Behold, all things are become new." Note here that the scripture signifies that a process takes place. To grow, we must undergo change both physically and mentally.

But why do we resist change? As Christians, many of us find it difficult to accept change in our lives, even though we religiously quote, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Let’s be honest with ourselves about one thing—change is NOT easy. And one of the reasons we have a difficult time dealing with change is because of the emotional factors associated with it. These emotions include fear, discouragement, anxiety, insecurity, caution, anger, confusion, anticipation, inhibited disappointment, concern, unsettled depression, avoidance, uncomfortable dread, and excitement.

Many of us are resistant to change because it takes us out of our comfort zones, exposing some degree of our vulnerability. When change occurs, we most often first feel that there is a loss of some sort. If we lose our job, emotion interprets it as a loss of identity or financial stability. If we develop illness or disease, emotion interprets it as loss of good health. If our personal relationship comes to an end or experiences a major shift, emotion interprets the event as a setback. And since emotions tend to unmask us and make us seemingly vulnerable, we resist those things that unveil our nakedness. 

On both spiritual and natural plateaus, change serves as a catalytic agent, and personal and spiritual growth are its by-products. I now know this all too well. I would venture to say that I’ve been in a season of change over the course of the past two years. From a change in my health status that resulted in sudden hospitalizations in the intensive care unit, to career issues, and relocation, I have been undergoing continuous transition. And while I believed that I was handling the changes with grace and honor, I reached my breaking point one day.

One of the effects of Graves’ disease is significant hair loss. My beautician had been trying to “save” my hair but determined that a haircut was inevitable. In less than fifteen minutes, my glory was on the salon floor. My initial feeling was that of loss—hair loss. While I knew that my hair would grow back, that wasn’t my dilemma. My dilemma was being forced out of my comfort zone. I cried and lamented over the issue. But my feelings, although legitimate in argument, was actually useless in terms of my benefit. I had to accept change. This experience shaped my outlook, molded my character, and caused me to activate faith in my healing process. 

When change happens, we have a few options. We can live with it, adapt to it, or grow from it. Some things we will have to let go of, say good-bye to, or even release ourselves from.

We must remember that no matter how devastating the form of change, a golden opportunity awaits.

As the scripture declares, change ushers in newness—a new attitude, a new direction, a new relationship, a mended relationship, a closer relationship with God, a new career, a new home, a new church, a new medical report, etcetera. For change is opportunity-driven; it is a special invitation to personal and spiritual empowerment and advancement.

Embrace change and live abundantly!

"Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; Behold, all things are become new." - II Corinthians 5:17

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