We say, “Change is good”. We believe in change and we want to change, but we often fail to follow through. Change is only good if we change for the better. Walk with me through the cycle of change.
I stood there waiting for the bus on a Friday morning. The snow was gently falling from the clear white sky, each flake landing on the well-trodden road, dissolving with every ray of warm sunlight. I stared into the distance and allowed my thoughts to go back in time while taking in the present moment: the cool breeze, snow falling, and cars passing by.
Four years ago, I stood at this same bus stop, nervous for my first day of university. Today, I stand at the same stop, counting down the weeks to completing my undergrad. I’ve come a long way, whoa… it’s already been FOUR YEARS?!
With each passing car and student falling in line beside me, my thoughts continued rolling.
I stared down at the street, moist with melted snowflakes. I examined its condition: rough, composed of little pebbles, chunks of snow along the curb. However, there was one feature I never noticed before: cracks, multiple cracks.
How often do we pass by the same buildings, streets, and people, and miss the mark? How familiar are the tasks and routines we do on a daily basis, it becomes second nature? Noticing those cracks made me snap out of my ‘flashback-moment’ and back to reality. I‘ve waited at this same bus stop, day after day. How have I never seen these cracks before?
I’ll tell you why.
This post is inspired by Robin Jones Gunn and Alyssa Joy Bethke’s book, “Spoken For”. The titles of these posts are directly taken from the book (with a little modification on my part) each a reflection of how I’m personally growing closer to Jesus.
I pray that as you read, you are reminded of who you are and whose you are 🙂
I’d love to hear from you. Send me an email or comment below ❤
There is comfort in familiarity.
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve watched the adventures I’ve encountered with “Moody Mazda” within the last month. I’ve managed to tow my car three times, get a flat tire, and ride in a Dodge Ram.
Familiarity is comfortable because comfort comes with familiarity. When you get into a car and put the key in the ignition, you expect the car to start. Needless to say, the comfort of hearing the car start was not happening. I got uncomfortable with the unfamiliarity of the situation.
Change comes from seeing things with a new perspective, coming out of the familiar and being refreshed by a new view. The failing car resulted with getting multiple mechanics to examine it, thereby gathering speculations of possible solutions.
Change calls for action.
The problem was unknown to me, but the mechanics had a perspective I could never have; they knew what they were looking for and how to diagnose it. They tried their best and came up with several possibilities. Should I have left my car sitting in the driveway? Definitely. Would I have? Oh yeah. Could I have given up and stop driving the car back and forth from the shop? Absolutely.
Fast forward, the mechanics managed to figure out what was wrong with it – the car’s air intake system was failing because the connector tube to the air filter was taking in too much air; there is a certain ratio of air and fuel that keep the starter motor running, and it was not balanced correctly coming through the connector tube. The mechanics did a simple adjustment and tightened the tube and bam! The car was as good as new. Simple fix at a reasonable price. All right, we’re blessed!
“What is life without transformation and change? Life is constantly change and so are you – as the artist, you will inevitably change. It’s good to support that change and NOT resist it!.” – Lavendaire, 12 Habits of Successful Creatives (podcast)
Change calls for action, again and again.
Just when the mechanics and I thought the car was good to go, we realized it wasn’t.
I was ecstatic for my car to have a new battery, tightened air intake tube, and catching brighter rays of sun with Spring coming around, my car refused to start, AGAIN. One Saturday morning, I drove four friends with me to a Mental Health Conference in Hamilton, caught up with my ACF family, and just when we were ready to head on out… the car was not!
Seriously? What’s the deal Moody Mazda. Stop being moody -_-
I started posting on some friend groups, chats, and texted my car experts to ask what they thought the problem could be. I mentioned the past “repairs” I’ve had – they all suspected it could be a problem with the starter motor.
The next step was to bring the car to the shop, ONE MORE TIME. Oh Lord, please do something. The mechanics are pros at this, help them find the cause and help my car to work, please. Got no time for this stuff!
Fast forward, I ended up leaving the car at the mechanics for four days and three nights. I was left anticipating a call with good news from my mechanic within the next few days – and that he did.
The starter motor was running perfectly fine, and every other repair prior to that was great. They discovered the problem was far deeper and hidden than the “Average Joe” would notice. It was a case of corrosion!
The engine receives its signal through the car’s wiring communicating the car to “start!” The corrosion was found in a small, plastic-covered-copper-starter connector piece, about an inch long and a centimetre wide. This connector was essential part of the “starting” process, but because of its corrosion, the green gunk surrounding the copper component prevented my car from starting. Hence, why it would only start intermittently. Consequently, the mechanics managed to safely remove the piece, improvise, and replace the connector.
Action breeds consequence.
Often associated with negative results, consequences can be a good thing. With the inspiration of my favourite class, “Applications of Behaviour Analysis and Therapy”, consequences are the result of a behaviour – consequences come after taking action.
Had I not chosen to leave the house, never would I have had a flat tire.
Had I not driven to the Mental Health Conference, never would I have had to tow my car.
Had I not called the mechanic to diagnose the car, never would the car be back on the road.
You see, consequences aren’t necessarily a bad thing.
The wear and tear of my 12-year old car meant parts would eventually have to be changed and pieces may have to be replaced. The action to change parts, pieces, and get fixed led me to getting the car to where it needed to be. The process took nearly two weeks, but it was all worth the hassle.
I asked some friends what “value” is to them, and here’s what they said:
“Value is something I really cherish and care for. Eg: my life, family, job, and some of the things I have; family = support team, trust, we end up leaving our family back home; home and family is where the heart is – we learn through them and that’s one of life’s most valuable things and lessons.”
For something to have value, I would want to sacrifice in some way, whether it be time, money or effort; a connection is made through the sacrifice to create value. God created life in me and you and He calls us to live it! We’re made out of nothing, absolutely NO VALUE, but in God’s eyes we have so much value, and glorifying Him by living for Him! John 10:10.”
Thanks friends, you know who you are. ❤
Change is a choice. The familiar roads I walked for four years were so comfortable to be on, I never would have noticed the cracks if I hadn’t chosen to look at them differently. My car refusing to start kept me from focussing on my school work at some points, and required me to sacrifice some time. Whether it was taking time to explain to the mechanic what the problem was, waiting for their driver to pick me up at school, and then being willing to listen to the process to undergo repair – there was a sacrifice made.
Change takes time. It took two weeks to discover what was preventing my car from starting, but it was well worth the time. Within those two weeks, I managed to learn more about cars, make friends with the mechanics, and derive life lessons throughout the process.
While the mechanics’ job is to find what is wrong with the car, they insisted on keeping the car for several days at no charge. Although the solution was already found, they wanted to keep a close eye on the car, for my safety. The problem was deeper than the surface, and more than meets the eye. The CAA guys could not detect what the problem could be, and my friends’ speculations were all wrong.
Change takes effort. Oftentimes we want change but are not willing to go through its process. We are like the car. The little starter connector piece represents our hearts. The inability to “start” comes with the gunk that was surrounding the copper within the plastic covering. The car, us – passes through the same streets and buildings day after day, and we get tired, we get worn out. Sometimes it takes an uncomfortable situation to get us out of the routine of everyday. Sometimes so great, it takes more than one day to adapt to the change, especially when it prevents you from starting, or getting up to move. However, change becomes part of your journey.
Friends, you are of great value and I hope you know that. For all of you reading this, I know that you have gone through your own fair share of uncomfortable situations, the need to change, corrosion that prevents your heart from “starting” again. But please, be encouraged that your corroded heart can be replaced and cleaned out.
Here are some Bible promises that confirm your ability to change.
You’ve got to be willing to change.
“Create in me a clean heart, oh God,
and renew a right spirit within me.”
You’ve got to accept that change cannot happen alone.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17
Here’s some quotes from a couple of my favourite bloggers:
“Artists aren’t meant to stay the same… they key part of learning to embrace change is to understand that sometimes you have to let go of the old in order to make room for the new.” – Lavendaire, 12 Habits of Successful Creatives (podcast)
“Being of great value is different from being of great use. – Alyssa Joy Bethke
QUESTIONS TO REFLECT ON:
- What is “value” to you? Why?
- What would it take for you to believe – really believe – that you are of great value?
- Take time alone or talk to a friend about your answer to the previous question.
- Is there something in your heart that’s corroded your heart for “too long” it’s preventing you from “starting again”? – Get to the root of it, and choose to take action if you want to see change happen.