Going through change is like walking through thick fog at times – you don’t know where you are going or where you will end up!
Change is now a constant part of our lives and workplace practice. Some people may thrive on change others reject it, but however you react to it change is here to stay. One question I ask myself constantly ‘what can I learn from what I am going through’?
My six month old nephew is trying desperately to stand up. With all his strength and might he pushes up on his little feet, straightening his long bow-like legs and with great excitement on his face his eyes say ‘look at me, look what I am doing!’ then he suddenly thuds back to the floor. Once he has gained his composure he continues his mission to stand up on his feet and that look of pride returns to his face. He doesn’t yet understand that once he stands, he will then learn to walk, he is just excited that he is learning something new and enjoying the pleasure and perhaps frustration of learning to ‘stand’.
I wonder if we could get to that stage where we don’t actually know what is coming next, but we enjoy the moments of digging deep into ourselves to explore something new, albeit we may fall down a few times in the process. When I first learned to play three chords on the guitar, I thought I was Jimmy Hendrix. I didn’t care if it was just the elementary stages of chord progression but I was doing something that I was unable to do before and I felt a great sense of achievement.
There is no doubt that when we go through change we experience loss – a loss of direction, isolation, confusion, anger and resentment and at times a loss of our identity.
But if we don’t go through change we may experience ‘crystallisation’.
There is a powerful story in the Bible about a woman who didn’t want to step out of her comfort zone even though her environment was crumbling around her. She is known by many as ‘Lot’s wife’. *
Lot was a wealthy businessman who settled in an area called Sodom. It was an area earmarked by God to be destroyed due to the lifestyle of the people who lived there. Two angels helped Lot and his family escape the coming destruction of that area.
After much persuasion the angels were able to influence Lot, his wife and his two daughters to flee to a near by region. The angels commanded them not to look back into the land where they were running from. Once they left Sodom the Bible states that the Lord rained down burning sulphur on Sodom and Gomorrah – yes not a pretty sight! However, Lot’s wife did one thing which had disastrous consequences: she looked back at Sodom and as she did this she became a ‘pillar of salt’. Yes, it sounds like something out of the movies, I know!
She crystallised on the very spot!
The moral of the story – when we do not embrace change we may end up set in our ways.
What do we gain when we embrace change?
One biblical character which experienced great gain when he embraced change was Abram .
Abram moved to a new land and was given a new name – Abraham -the father of many nations. Not only did his name change, but
- his mindset changed;
- he was given positional authority;
- he became very wealthy;
- he had a ‘miracle child’ at the age of 100 and
- he is still revered by many today.
So whether it is career change, personal change or spiritual change you are going through – embrace the process. Remember my little nephew – he doesn’t know the end result, he has no clue that one day he will do much more than just stand, but he will walk and eventually he will run.
*(Genesis 19 verses 1 to 29).