“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
Viktor E. Frankl
The car just broke down. I just lost my job. My mom died. We lost the house. My best friend moved away. My investment just crumbled. My boss wants me to give more time to work. My kids just started sports. My little girl just turned 10.
Things change. And we suffer the fallout from it. We all need change, but why does it come in such negative forms all the time?
Change is something that we all know is inevitable in life, but few of us live as though our lives are going to change at some point. It may be fear that keeps us from wanting to see our lives change. It may be inconvenience. Whatever it is, we cannot deny that change is coming.
But what do we do about it? How can we better prepare for change? Today I have a few preparations you can make to be ready for change when it comes.
- Get Right With God. Let’s be honest. This is one we put off way too much. We think that God isn’t involved in our lives and that He stands aloof from us waiting for things to go south and then we come running to Him. But this couln’t be further from the truth. God is always moving ahead of us, working on His Kingdom, inviting us up into it. We are not the ones building the empire that lasts… He is. Until we recognize this truth, we will NEVER be prepared for the change that is coming. Tomorrow I’ll talk more about this preparation. This one trumps all the others because it effects all the others.
- Get Right With Yourself. Viktor Frankl was a prisoner in a Nazi Concentration Camp that was forced to give medicine to people that the Nazi’s “experimented” on in their torturous ovens and surgeries. In order to have the fortitude to decide which suffering people should receive medical attention and which should be left to die, Frankl had to come to terms with his own need for medicine. He couldn’t take care of them until he had first taken care of himself. It is extremely important that we be physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy as we seek to deal with the changes life brings.
- Get Right With Your Family. Again, those people we grew up with, those people we live in the same town with, those people we may feel estranged from, need us in their lives. And we need them. Now this could be as simple as a phone call every once in a while to mom or dad, or a weekly coffee with your brother or sister. Whatever it is, make every effort to let the ones you love know you love them. Intiate contact and follow through in relationship. This requires a process not a one time phone call either.
- Get Right With Your Community. We isolate ourselves from people. We drive home, open our garages, and close the door behind us, never to emerge until the next work day. Get outside and get to know your neighbors. The people you live around could save your life one day if you’d just get to know them. Again, this doesn’t have to be some incredibly difficult planned party every week. But maybe it just means inviting them over for a meal you’re already planning to prepare for your family that week. Serving and loving people is the best way to prepare for change.
In case you hadn’t noticed, there are no strategies for changing your time management, managing your money better, or listing out things you want to get done before the inevitable changes of life hit you. I didn’t give you a mandate to go out and purchase a gun to protect your family from the horrors that this world may bring your way. This isn’t some pacifist reasoning either. The reason my preparations all have to do with people is because relationships are all that lasts after all is said in done.
These relationships are more important than any car, job, financial investment, house, sporting event, or anything else that we may possess or do. The reason we find ourselves lost in life and unprepared for change is that we haven’t done the hardest work of all. Restoring value in the lives of those around us and reconnecting with the people that God has put in our lives to love.
My challenge to you today is to create something better in your life in the area of relationships. Make that phone call. Send that text. Invite that neighbor over. Write that letter. Pray that prayer.
What relationship have you given up on that you need to re-kindle a flame of connection with? Who needs to hear from you most right now?
Talk to me. I’d love to keep this conversation going.
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