A challenge for 2016: CHANGE

My friend Ashley issued a gentle challenge to me this week to pick #oneword to frame the year 2016.  Normally, I don’t do this sort of thing.  I don’t make resolutions, pick a yearly scripture, or a word to focus on for the year.

It’s just not my thing. 

Mostly because I’m not super good at keeping the spirit of these things.  I get busy, tired, and distracted.  I’m pretty sure it’s also called being human.

But when I read her sentences the word CHANGE settled in me and wouldn’t leave.  At this very moment my life is all about change and I don’t foresee that being different in the coming year; I expect change to pick up to warp speed.  And I’m not fearful or worried or angsty about any of them (pinkie swear) and here’s why:

Change, like pain, will always demand to be felt and acknowledged. 

No matter how hard any of us tries to avoid change it is always present and moving.  From the moment we draw our first breath we begin the march of aging.  Change isn’t just an inevitably it is part of the fabric of life itself. 

Last week one of my patients said, “Change is easier for you, you’re young.  I’m eighty years old.  I don’t like change and I don’t want to do it anymore.”

Oh dear hearts, what makes folks think that anyone like change?  Who wants to wake up and find that their mom has cancer or that their adoption fell through?  What young couple wants to be told they’re infertile?  Who in their right mind looks forward to learning new software at work?

I don’t believe change is naturally easier for any one person on the planet, but it is an ever present reality.  It is a constant threat that sucker punches us on clear Wednesday afternoons just because it can.  It can make us live a life in the shadows of what God designed because change brings with it the fear of the unknown and we feel it can swallow us whole.  So instead of stepping out into change we retreat into the familiar and live on the edge of blessing always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Well friends, I’m not doing that anymore.  I'm done with shadow living and I’m inviting you to be done with it too. 

What if together we stopped being afraid of change and instead embraced it? 

What if we just trusted that God was going to take us through every change even if we didn’t like, even if the end result wasn’t what we wanted?  What if we tried understanding that sometimes change is so excruciatingly painful that we can’t draw breath but in the end we come out more refined for Kingdom work?  In every change we face what if we stopped thinking about our own comfort and instead focused on giving God glory?  What if we opened the death grip on our plans and let God have his way with us?

What would our lives look like then?   What would our work become?  What would our legacy be?

Join me friends in the year of CHANGE.  Together let’s see what God can do with our shadow lives.