2017-05-24 - Changes Ahead
I was talking with someone recently about how some big life changes were ahead for them, and the undertaking of getting through several in the last few years could lead to some emotional remodeling. The struggle can be how to process the changes in a way that helps us let go of those things that keep us from growing spiritually, and keeping sight of the bigger picture without becoming discouraged. The big picture of sharing God’s love in good times and not-so-good ones is the goal as followers of Christ, yet the daily processing of reaching ultimately to that end goal can be quite challenging. As we talked about her situation, I realized that I also needed to find some new ways to do that processing of my own.
While there can be “go to” things for processing life’s challenges for each of us and ways to blow off steam in the meantime, there are times that your “go to” things may not work anymore. For example, if you are a verbal process type person and you have a roommate or friend that does the same thing, then it’s win-win for each of you when a tough day comes along and you can talk it over. If you are a musician, maybe you jam awhile on your instrument, or blast your stereo while you pass through mundane chores in a joyful way letting go of the day that left you feeling empty and weary. If you find a tough day requires physical activity to clear your mind, and figuring out what to do next, maybe you play basketball, go jogging or hiking, or on a bike ride around your neighborhood. Each of these choices can help prepare our minds for dealing with whatever situation is at the forefront of our consciousness, and maybe distracting us from our normal focus.
Sometimes, though, circumstances change and it forces us to find new ways to clear our heads or process what’s going on that could be troubling our minds. Maybe our roommate has changed, due to taking on a job in a new place. Perhaps we now have physical limitations that have developed, and we can no longer do some of our favorite physical activities, temporarily or more permanently, as we once did to relax. Sometimes people we once talked things over with have passed away or may work a shift at their job which limits the time they are able to converse with others. All of those developments make it necessary to consider a new option to get back to center, the balanced God intends for us to best fulfill His purpose. So instead of talking to your friend, now you journal a little while and go to share time with another friend who needs your support celebrating their own changes. Maybe instead of playing basketball, you toss the tennis ball with your dog for awhile and soak in the joy she feels just for your having taken the time to do it with her. If you are unable to play your instrument today or listen to music, maybe you can go to a local jazz or choral concert and take part in what others have been learning to share a story, since music is about telling a story; yours or theirs. Not only can we regroup, but we can also step outside of ourselves when we choose to just try a different perspective to something that is a joy to us.
The point is to take joy to others anyway, and in the long run, we receive a blessing, too, so how can we possibly lose? Those activities, combined with study of God’s word and prayer, can help us get back in balance and renew our minds. Once my mind is feeling fresh, I’m ready to get back to His business. He knows we need it, and He’s waiting to help us. Are you seeking Him when changes come your way? I hope you are, because we are told they will come, and we need to be ready.
“but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 NIV)
All scripture references are from the King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted.