If we are to experience change in positive ways we must remain sensitive to what is happening around us and within us, says performance coach and lecturer Jacqueline Hall.
Speaking at the recent Christian Women in Business Talk, she said change takes us out of our comfort zone and can be frightening if we feel that we are out of control, but it will happen whether we like it or not so the best we can do is to remain open and prepared for it.
Only then will be able to respond appropriately when it comes (because we will see it coming) or notice when we need to make it happen (because we will be open and ready to take action).
But how many of us really think about change in this way? Admittedly, I usually think about change as an inconvenient intrusion to be tolerated only if it cannot be avoided.
‘If it ain’t broke I don’t wanna fix it!’
‘To be honest, sometimes, even if it is broke, I still don’t wanna fix it!’
Change, for most of us, is often resisted and only accepted when we realise that we have no choice if we are to move forward… basically when we become uncomfortable, frustrated or discontented, etc., and this is what Jacqueline helped us to take a long, hard, honest look at.
The area of biblical wisdom she used to illustrate the positive aspects of change in our lives is God’s creation of it.
When God created change
God created change. He created a world that is governed by change, with its days, nights and seasons (its daily breads and morning mercies). She drew from the book of Genesis to remind us that on each day of creation God created something new and said ‘It is good!’
Being made in His image, we too have the potential to bring about change and to have a good positive relationship with it, to be able to say of it, ‘It is good.’
As with so many areas of God’s work, we eventually do see and say this, but only after we’ve resisted it, or feared it.
Change doesn’t have to be so painful, says Jacqueline. ‘We don’t have to be victims of change. Romans 4 tells us not to be conformed to the world (present circumstances) but to be renewed or transformed in our minds. If we experience God’s presence in our lives change will be effective.’
So change is good for us. God wants us to change so that, as Jacqueline said, we can ‘grow, learn, discover, do our best, inspire others do their best and prove to ourselves and others that it can be done’.
This means cultivating the right thoughts, adapting our behavior and setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-measurable) goals.
Let us be encouraged to get out of the way of change and, instead, to give it a positive space in our lives, because, as God said, ‘It is good.’