Risk and Change

Everything changes but you…

Catherine Booth the co-founder of the Salvation Army once said “to change the future you must disturb the present” which is often painful and costly.
Most of us want a better future, but often we are too scared to change out present.
Yet if you always do what you have done you will get what you have always had.

All of us have what the Bishop of Bristol calls the “status quo bias” which means how ever painful and dysfunctional it is, we are used to it be like this, and so change is something we would rather not do.

Nicky Gumbel talks in the Alpha course about a Church Warden who had been in post for 20+ years and he said to him “You must have seen some changes?” to which the warden replied “Yes, and I opposed all of them!!”
There was a jokey cartoon about an article for a new Vicar which said they want him/her to do lots of new things to bring lots of new people in but to keep everything exactly as it was!!”
Sometimes we need to realize not only the prospect of a brighter future but the short coming of the present situation.
The choice is often not don’t change and have no pain, but rather the choice not too change will not only be painful but often fatal.
Whereas the choice to change, requires bravery but is the road that leads to life.
The problem is we often blind ourselves to the need of change, a little like the story of the emperors new clothes, when he didn’t actually have anything on, but no one had the bravery to tell him, until a child said “the Emperor has no clothes!”
Sometimes we need to see things with God’s eyes, let him take the scales off our eyes, wake up and smell the coffee as there are often so many things that we need to change, but for whatever reason we’ve managed to delude ourselves that this bit of broken dysfunctionality is okay to stay broken and dysfunctional, and yet the risen Saviour says “behold I am making all things new”.
We heard at All Souls last week in the book of Haggai about the people living in flashy houses saying (after 14 years) “the time has not yet come for the house of the Lord to be built” -trying to put a spiritual gloss on their sinful behaviour.
The time has not yet come? -In the book of Esther God says “Now is the day of Salvation”.
Paul talks in the book of Timothy about ‘passing on the baton’ part of being a good steward is to pass something on in a better state than we received it in.
So, let us be people that embrace the changes we need to make both in our lives as individuals and together corporately as Churches, and let us build together a new future following where God leads, not staying where we are but to quote St. Paul “pushing on to win the goal, to reach the prize, that God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus”.

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