Java and I have been in a long-term relationship ever since I could talk. Ok. Maybe you haven’t noticed, but I have an obsession with coffee. Yes. I admit it. Coffee shops are my kryptonite. I try to evade the sweet scent of intoxication, but I can’t resist – I can’t pass by the foaming goodness without first basking in the aroma of Fairtrade delight.
I know what you’re thinking, and I’ve tried. Tea just doesn’t compare. You see, I don’t love coffee because of the affect, I love coffee because of the experience. Maybe you can relate. Have you ever developed a habit because it was soothing, calming or simply intrinsic to your way of life? We all have these superstitious comforts. However, are all these habits profitable? Have we gotten ourselves stuck in a rut, because we’re afraid to mix it up a little? Are we clinging onto to comfort, because change is too scary?
Many of us are bombarded with change. Our parents are growing older and in need of our assistance. Our debt is growing higher and in need of payment. Our kids are growing impatient and in need of a nap. In this chaos that we call life, we’re constantly being thrown curveballs. Which is why, simple habits of comfort can seem like a solace in the midst of crazy town. However, these moments of caffeinated glory remind us that reality is more messy than light jazz and smooth cappuccinos – these facades of ‘control’ remind us that life is out of our control.
Here are 3 reasons why you should embrace change:
Change Develops Your Character
If you’re anything like me, you like routine. My idea of spontaneity is folding my clothes differently. Ok. Maybe I’m not that bad, but I do prefer to live in the boundaries of repetition. I dig in my heels – cling onto my checklist and pray that God doesn’t give me “more than I can bear”.
As millennials, we’re faced with lots of challenges and blips along our journey. However, in the midst of the chaos we’re expected to put on a happy face and keep trudging through. Life can feel like a spinning ride at a carnival – It’s fun for the first few turns, but after the fifth turn, your stomach gurgles and your face turns green.
Life has been compared to a journey; however, in my experience, life is more like a roller-coaster. It whips around each turn, while you try to keep your arms and legs inside the ride at all times. It twists and turns – taking you to the edge of your comfort and then pushing you off the cliff. (If you haven’t guessed, I’m a bit of an amusement park fan. Each turn is purposed. Each twist molds us to become stronger. Each dip dares us to cling onto Christ a bit more. Change is part of the ‘journey’ – it shapes us – it prepares us – it sharpens us. In the midst of the struggle, we find our strength.
Change Leads Your Calling
Abraham is constantly presented as a man of faith; however, when you peer into the pages of his story, you see a husband who lied, a father who faltered and a leader who doubted. The book of Hebrews recounts one of the most famous verses, which states, “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” God moved Abraham. He changed his direction and called him to go.
Change calls us to go. God throws a curveball and asks us to step out in faith. He invites us to change our direction and change our expectation.
He asks us to be followers of HIS purpose, even when it involves changing our own plans.
Abraham was presented with a contingent contract. He was called to go and invited to step out in obedience. However, God’s promise of inheritance was contingent on Abraham’s choice. The same is true for us. God’s promises are YES and AMEN; however, His promises are found in His will – they’re found when we change our decisions to follow his direction.
Change Leads You to Compassion
Life is shaped by the twist and turns that invade our space and challenge our sense of balance. When we come to grips with the reality that life is not stagnant, but fluid, we understand that change is simply one page out of our ever-growing story.
Frederick Buechner, influential author and theologian asks us to reflect on the purpose of change. He delves into the topic of calling and beckons us to search our soul. He begs us to ask the questions: What is my greatest heartache? What is society’s greatest need? He believes that, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” You see, change challenges us to be more compassionate. It gives us the ability to see life from varied perspectives and walk in countless shoes. Changes dares us to understand humanity from the standpoint of empathy.
The Apostle Paul exhorts us in Galatians 5:22-23 and declares, “But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.” We develop compassion, which means that it is an ongoing process. We must embrace change. We must respond when God says go. We must obey when God changes our direction.
I get it. It’s hard. It’s difficult to let go of your expectations and trust God along the journey. However, in the midst of this chaotic thing that we call life, I promise that it is worth it. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr., “True compassion is more than flinging a coin a beggar.” If we want to make a difference in this world, then we must forgo our comfort, embrace change and love lives of compassion. We must live a life that cost us something.