“Change is inevitable, growth is optional.” I wish I had a nickel for every time I have said those words and for every time I have heard them. I’d be rich. Have you ever given much thought to what those words really mean?
Live for just one minute, and you will understand that change is inevitable. I mean, think about it. In just one minute, the traffic light will change from red to green. In just one minute, the microwave can provide you with a hot drink. In just one minute, the birds will sing numerous melodies, the clouds will move from one place to another and the earth will make a small forward movement on it’s axis. Maybe too small to notice, but it certainly does.
Live for a year and a lot of things will change. Live for 10 years or 20 or 50 or 80 years and just think all of the things that have changed. I’ll not go into detail here, but think about all the changes you have seen in the amount of time you have lived. It’s inevitable. Change will happen.
Now, when change happens, how do we react to it? Do we push back against it, or do we accept it and move forward with it? One of my most favorite stories in the Bible is recorded in Genesis Chapter 22 where God asks Abraham to offer up his only son, Isaac. 9) When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10) Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11) But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. 12) “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
I could never imagine how Abraham had the faith to do what he was going to do. I don’t believe I could have done it. This week, God asked me to do something that I had to really, really pray about. I certainly didn’t even want to think about it, much less pray about it. But finally, I gave into Him and not only did I begin to pray about it, but I knelt at the altar in our new building, on the bare wooden steps, and I baptized the new steps with my tears.
I did what God had been asking me to do. I surrendered to His will in my life. I have to admit to you this has been the hardest decision I have had to make in a long, long time. But, once I stood to my feet, it was like a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders and now I don’t have to carry what I laid at His feet any longer.
Do you know it’s better to be obedient than it is to be right? It’s better to be obedient than it is to have our own way? It’s better to be obedient than it is to act like we are in control? Realize this, everything we have has been given to us by God and it’s not even ours. We have simply been put in trust of it. We are to take care of it and do what we can with it to bring honor to the Lord. And when we are obedient to His call in our life, and when He is honored because of the decisions we make, then one day, we will hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” Do you want to be a good and faithful servant or do you need to have things your way? Do you want God’s will done in your life or do you want your will done? When you are called to be part of the change going on around you, will you accept the call and look for what God has for you next? Or will you push back and let God use someone else?
I realize those are some very serious questions I have asked this week. But I also realize that change is inevitable and growth is optional.
And that is Something to Think About for this week.
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Pastor Thad Gifford is the founding and lead pastor of the Crossroads Community Church, 2343 U.S. Route 42, London, one mile west of Kirkwood Cemetery. He can be reached at 740-852-7800, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the church’s Facebook page at Crossroadslondon.
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