Friday, December 08, 2006

To Live Well is to Change Often

One author whose name escapes me at this moment said, “To live is to change. To live well is to change often.” When God moves in your life change happens. You can’t expect to have a ‘full’ relationship with Him and have your life stay status quo. Sooner or later, if your heart is open, He will introduce change. It's all a part of the journey. This guy named Paul was on a journey when he said, “I consider everything a loss compared to knowing God.” What can I give up for loss? What can I let go of? You see, I really like the idea of change… until it comes to changing me! In one of my favorite quotes along these lines Tolstoy said, “Everyone wants to change humanity, no one wants to change himself.” (AH! Knock it off Tolstoy. Too much truth. You’re killin' me!)

This Christmas season think about…

Mary’s earthly father. One of the greatest possessions for a Hebrew father in the first century was his daughter’s virginity. When Mary became pregnant, more than likely he and everyone else would have assumed at least initially that Mary had had physical relations with a man. This was embarrassing. He had to deal with change.

Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father. He probably had his life mapped out a little differently than what was about to happen. Even after he found out that Mary was pregnant he could have saved some honor by divorcing her publicly making sure everyone knew he didn’t approve of this behavior. In fact he even could have legally kept the dowry. But he chose to do something else. He embraced the change. And he was changed for the rest of his life.

Mary. No one had to give up more than she did. No one had to change more. What God asked her to do, really, think about it… it was impossible. Give birth, nurture and help mature the son of God? C’mon. That would take an amazing amount of humility and responsibility. Mary didn’t back down. She dealt with the change. Radical change.

You and me. God may not be allowing change to impact as quite as greatly as these family members of Jesus. But sooner or later if we follow him we’ll have choices to make regarding change. Am I open? Can I embrace it? Am I humble enough?

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jtc said...

Peanut butter and jelly, peas and carrots, humility and change ... all kind of dependent upon the other to be successful (well actually carrots are delicious with anything) I know that I tend to fight change in my life due to fear or doubt ... especially when the outcome is unknown and I have to put my faith ... well where my faith is. I know even when I cant see the bigger picture or the plan that God has in store for me I need to just go with it and walk with him. I also sometimes fall into the trap (and maybe I'm the only one) and fail to connect the lives of people from the Bible with my own so I like how you illustrated your point with what Mary's Father, Joseph and Mary might have been feeling.

If you're in a bad situation, don't worry it'll change. If you're in a good situation, don't worry it'll change. ~John A. Simone, Sr.

jonathan foster said...

im sorry, i'm not a big fan of carrots. but i agree on the rest.