Monday, June 11, 2012

Signaling a change and merging into life.

     The tired old adage says that change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.  Change has always been a difficult thing for me to come to grips with.  I suppose it was the same for the dinosaurs too.  They resisted it for millions of years and look where it got them.   They’re a hot commodity now, selling for over four dollars a gallon. 
     When I started college I stepped into a new environment where no-one knew me.  I could have completely re-invented myself.  Instead, I kept wearing the same imitation black leather vest and continued to chew toothpicks and act like American Muscle Cars and Bruce Springsteen could solve the world’s problems.  I started out with a pretty good GPA but by the end I was an irresponsible mook.  I did change, it just took four years and it wasn’t for the better.  
Back in those years I claimed to be a rock that wouldn’t change.  I did though.  After college I was a little more responsible once I got a job I liked.  But I was still pretty self-seeking and unmindful of the future.  I didn’t try to make any real conscious change in myself until I quit smoking.  A lot of things changed in my life right around then.  For the most part I became less selfish because I had a significant other person in my life. 
But 10 years after that there was some serious decay in my character.  While I didn’t make mindful changes in myself, I descended into a pit.  I didn’t start to get better until I did something that I had resisted most of my life.  I had to reach out for help.  But I got better.  On Friday, July 27th I will be giving my testimony at the group that helped me get better.  Okay, I’m better now.  Can I relax? 
In my life now, I get up early most mornings and am responsible for breakfast.  I don’t succumb to any addictions other than coffee and maybe too much food.  I love my job. While some days are better than others, I love being home with my family and we all love each other.  Everything seems to be cool.  
But that isn’t the happy ending of the story.  While I may feel like I’m done changing for the better and can now relax and sip coffee, I am getting more and more uncomfortable.  It’s been a nice break in the slow lane for a year or so.  But I am beginning to be worried that it is too comfortable.  What could be better than this humble life of a father, amateur writer and professional custodian?  Why can’t I just let it be?  Because those years I was resistant to change I went on changing anyway as my world changed around me. 
So I have gotten to my feet.  The break is over.  Last week I started a new Monday night step study.  I have given up one of the two nights off I have each week.  I gave up working with a kid’s group that met Mondays.  I have committed to a year of it and I am in leadership.  So now do I feel better?  Absolutely not.  Which probably means I’m doing the right thing.  
The first step study I went through pretty much brought me back from the spiritual dead.  This time there are more subtle character flaws that I may have been hanging onto even harder for even longer.  This could be a tougher slough to get through than the last one in some ways.  But I am hoping I will stop thinking of it as re-inventing myself.  I believe that we all have within us who God wants us to be.  I have that man inside of me that may be afraid to come up and out.  Over this next year the battle will be not battling the change.     


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