Change Is Good For Your Soul

Used with permission: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/tunnel-1434220

Used with permission: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/tunnel-1434220

I recently re-read a little book that has had a profound impact on me and countless others. It’s called Who Moved My Cheese? by Ken Blanchard. The book is a short story about how to face change in our lives.

The book asks questions and challenges the reader to shift their perspective when it comes to change.

-What if we lived our lives not from a place of fear, but from a place of curiosity and wonder? What if new opportunities weren’t stressors in our lives, but invitations to grow and learn?

The truth is, I’m learning that we have the potential to view change in a positive way. And when we do, change takes on a new meaning.

This year has proven to be an incredible season of change. And not just one change, but many.

We’ve changed jobs.

We’ve changed communities.

We’ve changed houses.

And the entire time, there are really different ways to view the change. It can be negative, feeling like the world is traveling at light speed and you are stuck in a limbo you can’t get out of.

The change can feel like everything you held dear is crumbling apart and you find yourself wondering, “What the heck have I done?”

I’ve had all those thoughts and more, but there’s also been this uncomfortable but profound truth: Change is good for your soul.

As humans, we were created to change. And when you don’t experience change, and significant change at that, something inside you stalls. I know that was the case for me.

We started looking at our lives and there were parts that we loved and cherished. We’d built something we were proud of, but there was also something missing. So we decided to let the cheese move.

When your goal moves and transforms, one of the first reactions is to try and revert back to where you were. That’s what happened to me. I had endless conversations–most of them in my head–about changing what had been done and trying to undo those decisions.

And yet, there was this calm, but forceful pulse that kept beating and pushing us towards something else. One way you can be sure that the change is necessary is when you find yourself absolutely enamored and distracted by it.

It’s never easy to exchange what you’ve had for something else. It’s not easy to say goodbye to what has meant so much.

But pain is a necessary part of change. The inevitable growing pains are a good reminder of becoming who you were meant to be.

I recently heard Andy Stanley say we should, “Stay when it would be easier to leave…and leave when it would be easier to stay.”

His seemingly contradictory advice is simple, really–don’t let fear be the primary motivator in your life.

If everything inside you says to leave, then maybe you should stay.

And if you are making decisions based on your comfort and ease and staying is one of those choices, then it’s time to get out of dodge.

Living in your comfort zone only holds you back from growth. But when you break free, like really free, the world take on new color and meaning.

Going through change is sort of like wandering in the dark, or diving into the deep end of the pool without goggles. Your vision is blurred and obscured. You can only see right in front of your face and even that is suspect.

But what a way to live your life.

Unafraid.

Bold.

Taking Chances.

Living in a state of risk.

Life is better when you don’t act like you’re trapped. Because here’s the beautiful truth:  You’re not.

The future is not some distant experience masked in the unknown. It is unfolding in the here and now. God calls us to build the future one moment at a time. And our decisions and choices are creating it.

So, what kind of future do we envision in this world?

Life is too short to live in a state of confusion and to always second guess yourself. There are too many decisions to make and too little time to spend rethinking everything you do. Action needs to break through so we can grow.

A trick that helps is to think of how you’ll consider this decision in the future. Six months or a year from now, how will you be feeling about the choice you made?

Because maybe this choice is just the first step needed to get to where you’re going. Maybe this change will make sense down the road. Maybe in order to get “there,” you have to start “here,” even if you can’t see it quite yet.

I heard a recent speaker put it this way: Live right now what you’re already famous in heaven for. In other words, take on a different perspective for your life and those around you. Be free to be yourself. Love your life. Risk something every once in a while.

Because if we are clinging to the past, we’ve already lost so much. Life is happening in the here and now.

Live it.

Cherish it.

Don’t be afraid to see who you’re becoming.

The church is future bound. And God’s people are called to exercise faith, creativity, and risk as we follow Jesus.

The road to the future is not marked with comfort and easy-to-follow steps. It’s marked with the blood, sweat, and tears that come from getting outside yourself.

So, my friends, if you’re facing a season of change, I’d encourage you to embrace it with all that you are. Hold onto it. Pursue it. See it unfold.

Furthermore, don’t be afraid to take that step of faith and walk the path in front of you, even if it’s dimly lit.

Because change, after all, is good for your soul.

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