For the better part of my life, I have resisted change. Changing has never been something that I have readily embraced. As a child, I remember resisting the coming of fall…and thus, another year of school. I would push back on the coming change…and to no avail…school would start, every year, on the day after Labor Day. I resisted Kindergarten. I didn’t really want to go. I liked being at home with mom… eating fish sticks, (I am pretty sure they were made with 33% real fish). I did not resist getting married…but I have spent many years resisting diaper changes. Just this last week, I resisted being around my vomiting daughters. My wife is so gracious in dealing with vomit…she gets up and consoles and comforts our sick children…I pretend to sleep through it.Could you imagine what life would be like without change? I have encountered some pretty nasty diapers in my day…probably about 8% of what my wife has encountered. What if diapers were never changed? “Lena came back and said to Ole, ‘Ole…I told you to take care of Little Ole while I was gone, which includes changing his diaper.’ Ole wisely replied, ‘But Lena, the box said 14-18 lbs. and that diaper doesn’t weigh that yet!’” Uf-Dah
What if vomit was never disposed of? What if vomit soaked bedding were never changed or washed? What if we never changed our socks? Can you even imagine what life would be like if there was truly no change taking place?We can’t stop change. Tonight, we will be forced to change our clocks for Daylight Saving Time…I like the daylight change…but I do not like the hour of lost sleep. We can’t stop it…although Arizona and Indiana have figured it out. I think of the times I have spent hunting in the woods. For the past 27 years I have stood in the same spot, in the same tree, looking over the same valley. But, every year it’s a little bit different, and this year…it’s marked for logging. Everything around us is in a constant state of change. My children are in a constant state of change. There are days when I try to desperately stop…or at the very least…slow the changing process, because, in the deepest part of me…I don’t want change.
Yet, as I stand, looking at the world, I find myself identifying everything that is wrong with it…everything that needs to be different…everything that needs to be changed…except me. “Who wants change?”…”I do!”…“Who wants to BE changed?”…“Not me!!”I cannot stop the changes in life…each morning I leave more hair on my pillow…and need more light to be able to see things. Yet, I can make some choices as to how I will be changed. I may not get to choose how many hairs remain on my head…but I do get to choose which direction I will go. In the Gospel of John, chapter 3, Jesus encounters a Jewish teacher by the name of Nicodemus. In Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus…Jesus confronts him with a call to change…a call to be different. The decision still lies with Nicodemus. Will he allow the Lord to do a changing work in him? Or will he resist the change that the Lord desires. We all face that same question. Do we really want to be different? Do we really want to be who God has created us to be? Who God wants us to be…and who we want to be, may not necessarily be the same. Do we really want to change? Before change can come, that question must first be answered.