Change Is Hard
It could be an understatement to say I’m dealing with a lot of changes lately. Most of them have been completely out of my control.
Other changes I’ve decided to make myself. Needed to make, in fact, for some time.
I’m not sure if I’ve delayed making these changes out of fear, or if my careful weighing of costs has been more a use of wisdom. Naturally, I like to think it’s “b.”
But somewhere between “throw caution to the wind” and “frozen like a deer in the headlights” is a way of doing life that leans more on a deeper ‘sensing’ of things; that trusts God is good and really can be counted on; and that knows we don’t actually have to worry about everything as much as we seem to think we do.
Anyway, I was thinking about all this, and then I got this post from Ransomed Heart Daily Readings and John Eldredge. It’s an outtake from John’s book, Wild at Heart, and it spoke right to where I am.
It’s called, What Are You Waiting For, and I hope you don’t mind me sharing it with you.
“Where would we be today if Abraham had carefully weighed the pros and cons of God’s invitation and decided that he’d rather hang on to his medical benefits, three weeks paid vacation, and retirement plan in Ur? What would have happened if Moses had listened to his mother’s advice to “never play with matches” and lived a careful, cautious life steering clear of all burning bushes? You wouldn’t have the gospel if Paul had concluded that the life of a Pharisee, while not everything a man dreams for, was at least predictable and certainly more stable than following a voice he heard on the Damascus road. After all, people hear voices all the time, and who really knows whether it’s God or just one’s imagination. Where would we be if Jesus was not fierce and wild and romantic to the core? Come to think of it, we wouldn’t be at all if God hadn’t taken that enormous risk of us in the first place.
Most men spend the energy of their lives trying to eliminate risk, or squeezing it down to a more manageable size. Their children hear “no” far more than they hear “yes”; their employees feel chained up and their wives are equally bound. If it works, if a man succeeds in securing his life against all risk, he’ll wind up in a cocoon of self-protection and wonder all the while why he’s suffocating. If it doesn’t work, he curses God, redoubles his efforts and his blood pressure. When you look at the structure of the false self men tend to create, it always revolves around two themes: seizing upon some sort of competence and rejecting anything that cannot be controlled. As David Whyte says, “The price of our vitality is the sum of all our fears.””
Life is full of risk and uncertainty. You knew that already. Maybe you’ve been carefully avoiding as much of that uncertainty as you can, trying to silence those sometimes crazy-sounding voices telling you to do… well, uncomfortable things.
I get it.
Yet, you’re made for risk and uncertainty and adventure. That’s part of how you’re designed, and you have everything you need to prepare for and enter into the adventure you were built for. Deny that, pack it away, and it will almost certainly come back to bite you.
And still, listening to that tug at your heart is hard. But if we don’t we may do to our lives what we often do to our marriages: we trade the wild passions and heat of our desires for something safe, stable, normal, and predictable.
Which, it turns out, is the anti-dote to many if not most of our passions.
There’s a balance to be struck, but too often I’ve let an all-or-nothing approach dominate the picture, and too often I’ve chosen nothing in an effort to play it safe.
And that can keep you living small.
Is that where you are? If not, that’s awesome! Don’t stop.
If you are, however, living smaller, safer, carefully managing your life to the point that the point of your life gets lost, well…
Stop it. Please.
Yes, you may have to risk something. In fact, you most certainly will. And, by the way, you might get hurt. You’ll probably be scared at times. And you definitely won’t know what you’re doing much of the time.
But wouldn’t being alive – really alive – be worth more than all your fears?
If you need help, or some way to get started, click here and get my free guide, “Unstuck: Three Simple Steps to Change Your Life.” Or give me a call, shoot me an e-mail, or take a friend to coffee and ask them to hold you accountable for doing something.
Come on… what are you waiting for?