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Why and How To Keep The Change In Life

A lot of you under thirty reading this have little, if any, experience with actual money especially coins. More would recognize paper currency especially if it has a number ten or above on it in a birthday, Christmas or graduation card from grandma or Uncle Al.

But our culture rarely uses coins anymore, with some of you still unfamiliar with the size and amount of each one. It’s like you’re in a foreign country having to ask for help to pay for a candy bar in a local store.

And God forbid you work in one of our stores or coffee shops and someone pays with real money. Unless you know how to run more than the credit card reader, you don’t have a clue as to how much change to give the person. And of course, don’t have the person for a bill of $6.17 give you a ten dollar bill and 2 pennies.

I’ll let you figure out why. You see there are some things we all need to know about change. Not just the money kind but the life kind.

Jackie and I have a small, but significant change that we’re making right now. It’s not due to a personal or organizational problem, but a decision we’re making to end our role in one of the ministries we’ve served in for seven and a half years.

We’ve decided that we need to cut back and focus our time in the areas where we can best use our current gifts, passions and time. There’s some sadness in this change since we won’t see some really great people as much as we used to. We’ve had a lot of God moments in our role and some of those experiences will end.

However, we know that we need to keep the change on this no matter the form that it comes in. You see, most change, though difficult at times, can serve good purposes, especially when God’s in it.

Here are a few things to look for as you face changes in your world. None of these by itself is necessarily the final word, but they’ll together give you a pretty good idea of whether this change is going to be a good thing.

First of all, do you get affirmation that it’s wise? Has the idea of this change continued to crop up in your thinking, conversations, comments from close friends and mentors, your devotional or other reading, even chance encounters. As you throw the idea out to a few good advisors, do you hear things like, “Wow, you would be great at that,” or “I can see how you would really love getting to do that more regularly,” or “I know that you’ve always hoped to live nearer your family.”

Keep the change.

Second, are you confident that this change is for the right reasons? Or are you wanting something different because you just want to avoid doing the hard, responsible thing, getting help, improving your skills and doing something different would help you avoid that?

Healthy change needs to broaden your horizons, be a step up in your growth, accomplish wise, important goals and even stretch your faith that God will get you through the parts that you’re nervous about.

Keep the change.

Third, will this change get you “unstuck” from a lifestyle of the same old, same old, “Someday Syndrome” (a guy wrote a book about this) kind of life that’s kept you from trying new things, getting to some bucket list items and becoming more of who you were made to be?

Change doesn’t always have to be big, far, expensive and major. Sometimes a little change now causes big, good, important changes later. In fact, sometimes a small initial change will give you the impetus and confidence to make a larger one later. Keep the change.

When it comes to life in general, change means you’re growing, maturing and becoming, not paralyzed, so to speak. Wise change can breathe new life into your attitude, passions, skills and overall welfare.

Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and courageous . . . for the Lord goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged.”

Isaiah 43:18, 19, “Do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing. . . do you not perceive it?” The God who never changes will walk before, beside and behind us as our changes unfold.

And age shouldn’t matter unless we’re thinking of tackling something that we could never do or would injure ourselves doing. Apparently, my rugby career goals have to go. Remember, we’re also to live wisely. Jackie and I aren’t getting any younger but age, getting older, doesn’t mean we have to quit changing for the better or to continue doing what God knows is best.

So many “seniors” think that at a certain age it’s time to quit enjoying new or better things, opportunities, ways to serve, etc.

2 Corinthians 4:19, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” I realized again the other day that I’m old enough to be needing replacement parts. The kidney and cataracts are potent examples.

But Jackie and I aren’t ready to be replaced quite yet. Or we’re going to at least continue participating in things that give us life, that we love to do, even if we’re a little slower. For now, we’re going to keep the change. Do the same wherever you are on your journey.

And will you please learn why I still add 2 cents to my ten dollar bill when my latte costs $6.17? And don’t ask me why I didn’t use the app.

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