“They said get back honky cat
Better get back to the woods
Well I quit those days and my redneck ways
And oh the change is gonna do me good.”
(Bernie Taupin as sung by Elton John)
I’ve been going through a lot of old pictures. It amazes me how much I’ve changed in the last 40 years. And, being butt ugly honest, the change in physical appearance isn’t good. My number of chins has increased and so has my weight. I look tired. When did my hair turn silver and thin out? As I looked at my pictures I thought of a line from Elton John’s “Get Back Honky Cat” which says, “…the change is gonna do me good.” Yeah. Right.
There is nothing more pervasive in our world and at the same time hated as change.
If there’s one thing we can count on it is change. Every week, day, and second change is happening all around us. And yet we hate it. Isn’t it tough being surrounded by something you hate?
When you think of the things which have changed in the last decade there are many to hate:
- I hate today’s music and miss REAL music; AKA music from the 60s and 70s.
- I’m upset the culture now teaches us “tolerance” means those who are in disagreement cannot be tolerated.
- Changes to health insurance and the retirement age irritate me.
- The Church of my youth has changed so much I sometimes don’t recognize it.
- And the Detroit Lions won more games last season than the Chicago Bears. Ugh.
I hate change. But here’s the deal. It we are to thrive in our ever changing world we must become friends with change.
Think about it. There are many ways Elton John got it right: the change is going to do you good. And if you disagree just remind yourself how your parents embraced change when you were in diapers. “Somebody needs to change this kid!” And one of your parents realized the need for change. They cleaned you up and put on a new diaper.
Since change is everywhere we need to learn how to leverage it to work in our favor. Here’s 3 tips for making friends with change.
1. Change adds variety. Try to imagine the world without change. Nothing could be more boring and disturbing.
If you’ve ever watched Groundhog Day you get my drift. Without change we would live the same day over and over and over and over and over again. Change makes each day is different. The weather changes. Your schedule changes. The people you see each day changes.
You can start to embrace change by reminding yourself it makes your time on planet earth interesting and exciting. Only people who want to live the same Groundhog day over and over hate change. Unless you want to live the same day over again change is your friend. Stop treating it like an enemy.
2. Change holds the opportunity for something better.
Too often when we think of change it is in a negative way. But change often makes things better. A better job, better car, better marriage, better church, better body all happen due to change.
Take for example the recent Supreme Court ruling regarding the marriage of gays. Almost all of my friends are upset and quoting Bible verses to people who don’t believe the Bible. Even this change, as disturbing as it is to many church folk, is an opportunity for something better. As Christians we now have the unprecedented opportunity to live out the main credo of our faith in a powerful way: love others. People outside the church are watching the reaction of people in the church. WE HAVE THEIR ATTENTION! Let’s take advantage of this change and demonstrate the love of God to them and stop with the crazy talk. If we can demonstrate love to those with whom we disagree maybe it will make them stop and think in a more positive way about the church.
Change is your friend because it holds the opportunity for improvement.
3. Change invites us to put skin in the game.
As things around us change we are motivated into action. The easy thing in life is to sit around and watch it go by. Too many people fail to get involved in life. Instead, they are like the talking heads in Mystery Science Theater cracking bad jokes about what’s happening on the screen of life.
Change can get the blood pressure up and motivate us into action. It prompts us to get up off the bench and get into the game. When we see a change we don’t like we take action. When we see an exciting change we cheer and want to know how we can be a part of it.
I’m picturing a big bull standing in the field content to munch on grass. But when he sees a red flag waving in your hand something happens. His change in view ticks him off. And he decides to put your skin in the game!
Change is your friend because it invites you to get off the bench of life and put skin in the game.
I don’t like a lot of changes. There are some things I want to never change. But change is all around you and the challenge is to make it work for you instead of against you.
Is it possible for you to embrace change?
What major changes are you struggling with?