Change…Is It Worth It?

“I hate change.”

We’ve all heard this statement. We’ve said it at some point or another. We’ve expressed this thought through song, movie, dance, drama (not drama a la Hills but actual drama), poetry, prose.
I remember when I first started at my church how when we were making philosophy shifts, one of my leaders would always say, “I hate change”.

It’s funny because we really don’t hate ALL change. Here’s what I mean…

If you have an iPhone 3G/3GS, more than likely you’d gladly trade it for the upcoming 4G.
If you have a PC, you’d throw it out the window for an iMac or MacBook
If we could freely change our appearance without the gym, we’re in.
If we have basic cable and get offered a free better package, we’re in.
If we can go somewhere exciting or exotic instead of remaining in a Northern States/Canadian winter, it’s a wrap!

I think we only hate the changes that cause us discomfort. The ones that cause us to check our character. The ones that test our metal. The maturing kind of change.
Updating to OS4 isn’t a risk…it’s a comfort. Not having a cell phone, twitter, blogs (eek!), email…that’s risk. That’s change. Being alone for a season when we’re super needing someone? That’s change. Downgrading offices? That’s change (and one that I didn’t like). The ability to change is blocked by our fear in risk, in discomfort, in failure, in being alone, in navigating unknowing feelings and waters. It’s an easy life but I think it’s a boring one.

Fear of change keeps us in dead-end jobs or rather jobs we’re not happy or fulfilled in.
Fear of change keeps us afraid of admitting our wrongs, our needs (of all kinds) and our dreams in our marriages.
Fear of change keeps us from truly allowing people into our space (similar to Clint Eastwood’s character in Gran Torino).
Fear of change causes us to argue dead ideas.
Fear of change makes us upset over the changing of a menu or a church gathering venue (I saw that first hand this past fall…).

What if we embraced change? What would our lives be like if we had faith to really believe that everything would be okay? That life would connect and friendships be fostered? That new initiatives would be birthed and lives impacted? It would be interesting.

This past Sunday at our church, 21 people got water baptized. They described the uncomfortability of change (Living for Jesus daily when in their honest humanity, they’re ‘programmed’ to live for themselves) but the blessing that comes with allowed change (renewed life, passion, growth, maturity, community, etc).
It. Was. Powerful.
Some even went a step further and talked in front of more than a thousand people, something that they would NEVER normally do. But they lived out that change. They took a risk. And in their risk, they really touched, inspired, provoked and encouraged others to one day take a similar risk. It was amazing. The juice was in fact worth the squeeze.

When I was a kid, there was no limit to what I could do or imagine. Now at my…latest age, I only see red tape, time wasted, bad investments, etc. I’m sure we all do. What if, when change rears its head, simply said, ‘OK’? What if you and I stopped settling for average (which is mediocre at best) and took it up a notch? Maybe this is the summer you and I experience change for the very first time. Maybe by September we’ll say “I hate change, but I need it.

Questions to ponder – What changes are you not looking forward to? When was there a time in your life where you were broken because of change? How are you now? What scares you about change? What do you hate about people who AREN’T afraid of change? Who is someone you turn to keep you sane during turbulent change moments?

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