(01.11.21 Faces of God--2 Kings 12: 1-8)
My friend, may I ask you a question? Is committing to change often one of the hardest things we have to do in life? Why is it that we arrive at our decision to change with great personal fanfare and acclaim, only to suffer regret and indecision?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner
The funny thing about changing is this, what we so often honesty commit to in the first place is often the last place we want to go. It is a dichotomy of sorts. Our heart tells us that the difficult path, the one that requires work, perseverance, commitment and courage, is the right one to take. It encourages us to give it all that we have because the end result will be something that will advance us physically, emotionally and spiritually. Yet, even as our heart is building us up, our minds are looking for a way around, over or back from the goals that we are setting. What our hearts commit to with eyes wide open, our minds often commit to with a wink.
On June 4, 1783 at the market square of a French village of Annonay, not far from Paris, a smoky bonfire on a raised platform was fed by wet straw and old wool rages. Tethered above, straining its lines, was a huge taffeta bag 33 feet in diameter. Many of the observers just shook their heads and clicked their tongues. “How could any man make such a claim?” Yet, they continued to gather throughout the day. However, as the flames were fanned and the balloon began to pull tightly and forcibly against the basket, the skeptics began to change their minds as they saw the basket begin to lift itself up slightly above the ground, straining at its tethers. Then, in the presence of “a respectable assembly and a great many other people,” and accompanied by great cheering, the balloon was cut from its moorings and set free to rise majestically into the noon sky. Six thousand feet into the air it went -- the first public ascent of a balloon, the first step in the history of human flight. It came to earth several miles away in a field, where it was promptly attacked by pitchfork- waving peasants and torn to pieces as an instrument of evil! (adapted from Today in the Word, July 15, 1993.)
Committing to change is often like this. We arrive at our decision to change with great personal fanfare and acclaim. Despite our initial skepticism, we begin to “like our chances” and cut the ropes that are holding us down to a behavior or habit that we have longed wished to change. Then, just when we near our goal, our sinful nature, the part of us that is filled with fear and doubts, takes over and rips our best hopes and aspirations to sheds. We reach out for change but never quite get where we wanted to go in the first place. Joash was just such a king. He knew what had to be done in Judah. The people were sinning by worshipping false gods. The high priest, Jehoiada, had pretty much laid out a plan for the changes that would be needed. Joash began his “journey” to change the hearts of Judah but he fell short. His mind won over his heart and only some things were changed but not all. Perhaps he embarked on the journey with only one eye focused on the goal. Perhaps not. The fact is, however, what he set out to do was not accomplished.
Committing to change is not an easy thing to do for any of us, especially when that change requires great commitment, even sacrifice on our part. Going into change with a “wink,” however, is a sure-fire way of pretty much guaranteeing we won’t achieve our goals. When we commit to change, the important thing is that we do so honestly, with our eyes wide open and our best intentions founded firmly in what God has directed us to do. Change requires clear thinking and both eyes wide open.
We pray. Heavenly Father, when we commit to change, help us to commit those plans first to You that we might have Your blessing upon our thinking and our goal-setting. Make us honest as we approach the things in our lives that need to be changed. Give us patience and courage to confront them and the skill and commitment to insure that we will see that change through. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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