A little boy told his mother, “I’d rather have a million friends than a million dollars.” “Why?” his mother asked. “Well, I figure if I get into trouble, they ought to be able to pitch in at least a dollar apiece to help me!” -Kent Crockett’s Sermon Illustrations
You need to learn to appreciate the wisdom of children. When people desire to undertake a major change in their lives, you need three key ingredients. So far we have covered the first two in the previous posts.
You need to have:
1) The desire to change.
Sometimes what facilitates the change event is a negative motivation. It could be a health diagnosis or a catastrophic event. But whatever it is, usually rocks your world.
2) The courage to change.
Once you are properly motivated to change, now comes the critical next step of taking that leap of faith. You can walk right up to the edge of the modification cliff and fear will prevent you from ever jumping. Fear of failure or even worst fear of success can stop that change dead in its tracks.
3) The support system to change.
No matter how good your intentions and how motivated you are, you can’t do this alone, you need others to encourage and support you. Even if you don’t believe this, God realized this early on in creation. Back in Genesis 2:18 “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Here is how one women put it. God created man and realize immediately he needed help, so he created woman.
The most significant benefits a healthy support system provides for you in the change process are:
Before you undertake any modification in your life you need to bathe that change in prayer. Find out God’s will for you in this process. And encourage your support system also to pray for you. Before I embarked on this new writing endeavor to do a Bible Study on “Healing Race in America.” (A quite ambitious title and task I might add.) I called upon a small group of people and asked them to pray for me. Pray that I would not lose heart. I ask my prayer warriors to pray that I would not lose courage, yet remain grounded. I know what temptations Satan would put up. So, I wanted a trusted group of prayer warriors bathing me and the writing in prayer.
I also asked a different set of supporters to be there to encourage me. There will be moments when I hit a writing wall, and I need to push through those moments. I know that for me when someone tells me the task is impossible I love to prove people wrong. I have people who are there ready to provide a holy kick in the pants when I prepare to quit. And a pat on the back when I need that. These are people (my wife, Miriam and a dear friend Kevin) who know me as well as I am know myself. They know what motivates me and what demotivates me. They are my heroes.
You also need people who will be your champions. That no matter what happens they are there for you. They are there when you hit a wall. When you get rejected and when you fall short of your goals. No matter what happens, they point you back to God and help pick you off the floor. Through good or bad, thick or thin your champions have this unwavering confidence in you. While most change is not easy nor pleasant, it is often necessary. I will leave you with these words of wisdom.
“There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse; as I have found in traveling in a stagecoach, that it is often a comfort to shift one’s position and be bruised in a new place.” Washington Irving G. Collins, The Magnificent Mind