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Are You Ready to Change?
It is interesting to read these quotes, and to observe the huge variety of backgrounds of the authors. Ancient philosophers, spiritual leaders and modern writers all agree that change is essential to growing in life.
- Become a student of change. It is the only thing that will remain constant. (Anthony J. D'Angelo)
- Nothing endures but change. (Heraclitus).
- Everybody wants to be somebody; nobody wants to grow. (Goethe).
- The most powerful agent of growth and transformation is something much more basic than any technique: a change of heart. (John Welwood).
- You must be the change you wish to see in the world. (Mahatma Gandhi).
- Only in growth, reform and change, paradoxically enough, is true security. (Anne Morrow Lindbergh). Heartquotes.
'I once heard a preacher boast that he hadn't changed his mind on anything the Bible says in forty years. If his boast was supposed to impress his listeners, it has the opposite effect on me. Anybody who hasn't learned more and changed much in four decades has wasted a huge block of his relatively short life'. (Ruben Shelley). Your Church Can Grow.
As a school teacher for some decades, I have had to adapt, change, read new data, and alter many styles of my teaching methods over the years. If I had attempted to teach all children in the same way, I would have been an inadequate teacher, and certainly no educator! The same is true for any occupation.
Jobs change, and people change. To live is to change. I remember a wise lady once saying to me when I was complaining about a situation, "Well, Christine, if nothing changes, nothing changes!" Of course, she was telling ME that I must change if I wanted things to be different.
A pastor friend always advised that instead of praying for God to change the other person, it was much more productive to pray "Lord, change ME!". I am the only person that I can change. The Bible indicates that we must be about changing all the time. As we allow God to change us, we gradually become more and more the person we were created for. If we decide that we are always right, and never alter our opinions, our lifestyle, our habits, and never admit we are wrong, we are of all people the most deceived. We may grow old, but we will never grow wise. To believe that we do not need to change, is totally wrong, because it implies that we already think we know it all - and that is God's domain, not ours. God is the only One who knows it all!
Laurence Freeman OSB had this insight when he said, "Certainty... must be sacrificed and radical doubt must be allowed to question us all. Our experience with the death of certainty is also the death of desire - our egotistical desire to be right, to be safe, to be better than others. Such death is our sharing of the Cross.....It shows faith to be a living evolving commitment to truth as a personal relationship of transformation....The Resurrection, that new way of living it takes a lifetime to learn".
The challenge to change from a stance of certainty into a transforming position of growth towards truth and personal wholeness, requires humility, courage, and honesty. It is never easy to change - but always rewarding. It means parts of us must die in order for healthier, more Godly aspects to take root. Death and Resurrection is part of life - for all of us. There will be countless little deaths and countless resurrection experiences ahead. Jesus showed us the Way. He was willing - am I? Are we?
© 2004 Christine M. Jones
Droplets from Life
Christine Jones is married to David. She has two adult children and precious grandchildren. She has worked for many years as a school teacher/librarian, and written children's material for several years in her 'spare time'. She loves nature, music and the theatre.
John Mark Ministries