Preparing for Change.
Change can be difficult. When my son was small, he didn’t like his activities disrupted. He was a really content kid, until the unexpected occurred. He loved to play–especially with toy trains and legos. He would play contently for hours. But then, if we needed to go to the store or visit a friend, he would get upset, sometimes bursting into tears. Changing from one activity to another was hard. Overwhelming.
He needed a transition period. It took us a while to figure out how to help him make transitions better, but eventually we discovered a secret — a timer. I got one of those watches with a timer and when we had to leave to go somewhere or change from one activity to another, we set the timer for five minutes. We told him that when the timer went off, we would pick up the toys, or put on our coat, or get ready for dinner–whatever the new activity was.
I don’t know what it was about the timer–the five-minute warning–but somehow, it allowed him to build up the mental strength to change. He needed that preparation time. That time to adjust to the idea so that he could move forward without getting upset. As a young adult, he knows he still struggles with changes in his life. And, I am grateful that he recognizes this so that he can find ways to adjust.
I struggle with change, too. I wrote a few days ago about how emotion–compassion, fear, discomfort, and tears–help move us to action, to seek change. Other times, I recognize, desperately, that I need to change something in my life, but I’m too paralyzed to do anything about it. I’m stuck and it feels better to just stay the course. Or, I feel overwhelmed by the thought of the task. Or, with respect to social justice issues–like the global water crisis–I feel like anything I do will be too insignificant to have any impact. So, I do nothing.
I need that ‘five minute warning’–or some time period–to build up the strength mentally and emotionally before moving forward. And then I remember, Christ’s words:
So, I prepare for change. I know that I need to look to Christ. To have faith that, with Him, change is possible. I know that I need to get ‘unstuck” because He promises that faith moves mountains. I have to take the action, with faith in hand, and . . .
Christ will make the mountain move, not me. I just have to step out in faith.