We need change in order to grow

2015-19.1

MONDAY, MAY 11 2015

James 1:2

*Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.

Tesco Store, Wokingham: For the weekly shop, we like to be able to find everything in a predictable place

“Constant change is here to stay”

AFTER a General Election result that no one predicted, we have a change of government that will affect us all. Perhaps not a huge change, but a change just the same.

Businesses will generally welcome it, the pound has risen sharply against the euro and the dollar, and the FTSE 100 and 250 index ratings of share prices have surged on the basis of greater confidence. Others, perhaps dependant on benefits or working in the public sector, will see this as a more personally challenging change.

Like it or not, we all need a certain amount of change – without change, we stagnate, we become narrow-minded and a bit reactionary and grumpy.

In the past few years of recession, many of us have had change forced on us. Jobs (and entire careers) have disappeared; instability in the world of work impacts families. The good side is that change forces us to consider alternatives, to adjust, to be creative and do things differently. We don’t like it but we grow into it.

A trivial example is our choice of supermarket. Every week we tramp the aisles or wrestle with the online system: familiarity saves time, we know this on the list is at the end of that aisle, and we pick a lot of the same things without thinking too much. A couple of years ago, a call to another church took us to a rural area. No supermarkets for miles! The nearest decent-sized supermarket, the one with the special offer we like best, was 12 miles away. And it wasn’t Waitrose, although the nearest one of those was 12 miles the other way! So we had to change, and over time grew to like an alternative (only five miles away!). As I said, a trivial example, but at that point our world got a bit bigger.

The Bible tells us in many places that the Christian way has its hazards and difficulties. It is not a green-high expressway, but the rescue service is incomparable. There are bound to be roadworks, obstructions and unhelpful jobsworth people, but Christians have an escort. The escort may tell us to U-turm or take an unfamiliar way. That’s change and the Spirit-led life is full of those moments where it isn’t what we thought and we are heading what seems like the wrong way and it’s unfamiliar territory.

Or to go back to Tesco, they have annoyingly changed the layout again “to make room for exciting seasonal lines’ (they actually told me that once).

Loving God, we don’t like change because it seems to spell difficulty and uncertainty, but we know that You use change to get us trusting You. Help us to take You at Your Word and not be thrown by the latest apparent setback, but to grow in our relationship with You as you guide us in it. As we cry out, “God, what are You doing?”, help us to be quiet as well and hear Your answer and believe it. We pray this through Jesus, Amen.

Go further: Red Run – encouraging those who have been “skiing” with Jesus for a while

Black Run – a more challenging view with a ministry slant

 

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