CHANGE - the 1 Cor. 9:19-22 kind!
Sometimes change is needed, even inevitable. A grumpy, obstinate disposition is not needed.
Wistfully, and a couple of times, a wife told her husband she would like to be six again. On the morning of her birthday, he arose early, made her a nice big bowl of Lucky Charms, and then took her to Six Flags theme park. What a day! He put her on every ride in the park. After many hours at the park, he then took her to a McDonald’s where he ordered her a Happy Meal with extra fries and a chocolate shake. Then it was off to a movie, popcorn, a soda pop, and her favorite candy. What a fabulous adventure! Finally she wobbled home with her husband and collapsed into bed exhausted.
He leaned over his wife with a big smile and lovingly asked, “Well Dear, what was it like being six again??” Her eyes slowly opened and her expression changed , “I meant my dress size, dear.”
This man had the wrong understanding of the change she desired, and needed. We see that in life, and sometimes it is our own experience. New job, home, car, spouse? So often these changes do not provide the satisfaction sought for. Why? Because, the common denominator in these matters is self, and changing circumstances and surroundings does not necessarily change you.
We are changing some things at church. And some people have a hard time handling it, which is nothing new. Church is personal, a place where we need to feel comfortable and safe. We forget there is a lost and dying world out there that we are commanded by the Lord to reach. Many of those lost and unchurched people will go through a time of curiosity about church and the Christian faith, and they will find it disheartening when we are so rigid about many matters of comfort that really have no connection with God and scripture? Here is my take on the subject: Everybody seems to be in favor of change, as long as it is the other person doing the changing! We fancy ourselves to be open-minded, bendable, changeable. Except, many times we are not. And, I must admit, this can become more pronounced as we get older.
Yesterday, Debbie and I went out to eat with our granddaughter. We have not seen her in a while, and she is now a full-fledged teen- not the little girl of yesterday. Well, her hair was a strange color and style. And she talked a brand of politics that we do not particularly like. But we love her. And so we quickly granted her those insignificant, and hopefully momentary, changes for the sake of our relationship. As Christians we love others and wish for them to know Christ, right? May God help us to welcome change that honors our Lord and loves others, and recognize when our little preferences get in the way.