A desire for change is driven by dissatisfaction with the established set up. Either there’s a bare table, and it wants to be a table with a flower arrangement on it, or there’s a mess that wants to be cleaned, or there’s ignorance that wants to be fixed… you don’t change what you’re content with.
When we are young, or when we are angry, the energy for change is fast and hard – one speaks of being “driven”. It’s a fiery energy. It is great when you need to clean up sewage or rototill the back forty – and there’s NOTHING better for cleaning out the junk drawer.
But sometimes the task ahead isn’t a simple task – or even if it is, it’s a task that is beyond our current levels of energy or push. Or maybe we have too much on our plates, and can’t devote all of our resources to one goal. (How common this is, for mothers!) If we only know the driven energy, speed and fire and oomph, how do we make changes happen one day at a time?
I find myself in a place, in several areas in my life simultaneously, where the energy of change can’t be the energy of destruction, it has to be the energy of creation. I might have quite a lot of things I’d like to lose (pounds, weeds, dustbunnies) but I must keep my home running, be there for my husband, school my kids, etc. I CAN’T exhaust myself powering through – all the other plates i’m spinning will fall.
I find that the energy of drive, when let out only a smidge at a time, leaves me more than a bit nuts. It leaves me forever feeling negative – because that driven energy wants to make change happen QUICKLY. When it does not, it sours and distorts. I don’t want to become distorted. So – how do I make change happen, and not make myself into something I am not?
Embrace love, patience, kindness, faith, compassion. What? How’d we get here – we were talking about weeding! But I have faith that love will foster the change I seek. Patience to slowly create good, and concentrate on creation. Instead of focusing on the weeds that need to be ripped out, I concentrate on the flowers I’ll put in their places. And I take time to *put flowers back in*, not just forever repeat the same cycle of “weed” “rain” “swear” “weed”.
Same thing with my body. Instead of endlessly flogging myself with diet and exercise, I encourage myself to eat mindfully and be more active, choosing to do the things that leave me feeling really *good*. I choose to read the books that leave me feeling good, say the words that leave me feeling good.
I choose to seek God in all that I do, small or great, and I have patience with the rate of change, and faith that change will indeed come through perserverence.
And this doesn’t distort me, this leaves me hopeful, cheerful, loving – with time and energy to pour out on those around me.
And *that* makes people wonder what’s different… which maybe, just maybe, might attract them to Christ.