Here we are on the first day of firearms dear hunting season. Wow. Where has the year gone! Soon there will be snow and shoveling of the driveway; the warmth of a fireplace on a cold and windy day - good things to look forward too!
Spent some time with another church last week - talking and working through some issues with them; hopefully helping them see a better way to use the resources God has given them.
I know that this should not surprise me, but it surprised me the resistance to really even think through what a different way of ministry would look like. I know, I know. People don't like change. People like to stay where they are at (or else they would have moved a long time ago). There is comfort in staying the same.
Two things happened in my spirit. First, I was reminded of the Israelites after they left Egypt. They wanted to go back. The journey through the desert and rocky crags of Midian and the Sinai was hard (OK, classic understatement - it was extremely difficult for a people who were not nomadic by upbringing to suddenly become nomadic). Although the desert and rocky crags were a place of blessing; a place where God showed up time after time in a miraculous way; they wanted to go back to slavery in Egypt, just so they could have some food. Never mind that slavery was hard; never mind that Pharaoh had slaughtered their children; never mind that the task masters over them were instructed to treat them harshly. It was a known place and it had some side benefits. They did not want to change; they did not want to walk the journey to a better place that God had for them.
Secondly, how hard it is for me to change. I get into a rhythm of life that I like. I settle into a way of existence that is probably not the best thing for me, but it is comfortable and known and not bad. The last line is the killer - not bad. Not the best, not good for me; just not bad. I find that if I settle too long in places like this, they become rooted in my fabric and I buck against change.
Here's the problem. I kind of like myself. There are always some things that I want to change, but really not bad enough to do anything about it. I think that is why it is so hard to change. Unless the value of change exceeds the amount of pain I will experience if I stay the same, I tend to stay the same.
This is where humans differ from animals. We can choose to change - even if the apparent pain is not greater than the perceived value of change; even if we change for a future return. We have the ability to understand "investment" - paying for change now for a future better state. We can look at a circumstances and decide to and make a plan to change.
And the beauty of it all is that God gives us of His Spirit to help us!!!!