Sunday, October 02, 2005

Change

Variety, they say, is the spice of life, and I would have to agree. For the most part, I like change. Trying out a new restaurant, or taking a different route home from work, changes like that can add some interest to an otherwise ho-hum day.

But I have to admit, there are times when I'm not quite so comfortable with change. Like when close friends move away. Or when a loved one passes away. Or when a friendship ends. Sometimes change brings about a real sense of loss, and I long for the "good ol' days".

Change can be uncomfortable, painful even, but Jesus uses it for our good. In John 10, He refers to His followers as His sheep:

"He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they recognize his voice...Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. Wherever they go, they will find green pastures." (John 10: 3b-4, 9)

Note two things here: first, Jesus leads us, which to me implies a continual leading--He takes us to more than just one place in our spiritual lives. Second, wherever we go, we will find green pastures.

If sheep grazed in the same pasture forever, eventually they would run out of grass. A shepherd had to herd them through different pastures in order to find fresh grass. In order for the sheep to survive and thrive, they had to experience a change of scenery from time to time.

Likewise, our Shepherd has to change our scenery from time to time as well. When we stay in one place too long, spiritually speaking, we become complacent, stagnant. We stop growing. Perhaps that's why Christ leads us out of the comfortable into unfamiliar territory in our spiritual walks so often.

Another reason for not staying in the same place is that we run the risk of no longer being dependent on our Shepherd. It's so easy to get to a point in our walk where we feel like we've got it all together, we've got all the right moves down pat, and we relax. Meanwhile, Satan, the devouring wolf that he is, is sneaking up on us. When Christ takes to a new place, especially a place that we don't want to go, we have to depend on Him. We are in unchartered territory, and we look to Him to guide us and protect us in a way that we don't when we feel comfortable with where we are.

Change is not something to be feared or avoided. Rather, it is often the threshhold to spiritual breakthrough and renewal.

2 comments:

That Girl said...

I'm not a big fan of change. Just when I get comfortable, something spins me around. I've found a verse that makes me feel good...

"So don't remember the things that happened in the beginning. don't think about the things that happened a long time ago. Why? Because I will do new things! Now you will grow like a new plant. Surely you know this is true. I really will make a road in the desert. I really will make rivers in the dry land."

DJG said...

I am like you and enjoy change. But there are times when I would just as soon be left alone...good reminder that it is for my own good.