Change Happens

How do you deal with change?

If you are like most people you don’t care for it . One wag said, “Human beings respond to change the way your body responds to invading bacteria.” Another said, “The only person that likes change is a wet baby.”

Sometimes when I speak at conferences I will do a little exercise to force people to deal with how they feel about change. I got this from Dan Southerland in a book titled, “Transitioning.”

I have everyone stand and then I say, “Change five things about your appearance.” Some get enthusiastic and start taking off their shirts and turning them inside out, rolling up their pants. Some take off their shoes or a belt.  Others will hardly do it.  After a few minutes I say”OK, I want you to do something else. Change three more things.” There’s a groan, but the good sports will keep trying. Some quit. Then after a few minutes, I say,” OK. One more thing. Change five more things.” This time there is a huge grown and everyone complains.  A few will keep trying to change but most stop.

Then I ask them to sit down, and we talk about change.

Most people feel uncomfortable with change in front of others.

Different people are at different levels when it comes to change.

Most people will try to change as little as possible.

People tend to revert back to their old behavior the minute the reason for change is removed.

The minute this exercise is over, I watch the whole group put their jewelry back in place, tuck their shirttails back in, unroll their sleeves and re-button their buttons.[1]

Change is hard. Especially when we are asked to change the way we think.

A little boy was starting to figure things out and asked his mother, “Are you the tooth fairy?” She smiled and said, “Yes honey I am.” “I knew it.”As she turned to leave he had one more question, “How do you get into everyone else house.”

Here’s the problem. Life is dynamic. Change is happening. Have you seen the commercial where the dad is pushing his son in a swing and he comes back a grown man. Life comes at you fast. We must adjust and be willing to change.

Here’s a promise. God will walk with you through your change.

Matthew 28 at the end of the great commission. Jesus calls his team together and says, “This is it, I’m sending you out to change this world. Go therefore and make disciples. But there is a line at the end that helps me.

Matthew 28:20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Change happens. But you don’t have to go through it alone.

[1] Dan Southerland, Transitioning. 110-111.

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