Yesterday we decorated our Christmas tree & our home. There is nothing like getting the ornaments on the tree, reminiscing about certain ones & their meanings, setting the nutcrackers out, getting the lights on the windows. When all is done, the house feels special. The house feels ready.
I had the help of a friend yesterday. As we got the boxes down from the attic, I knew the Lord was beginning to stir in my heart. He was going to teach me something important. Very important.
I am aging. Like who of us is not? But here is the deal, at various times in my life, I have been struck with the thought that I do not want to grow old & crotchety. There I said it. Even the sound of the word itself just rubs me the wrong way. I want to grow old gracefully. I desire that people will still want to be around me & in my company. Especially my family. Over the years, I have OFTEN prayed that the Lord would age me gracefully, not the Oil of Olay way (although I could use that too as well), but in my personality. I have asked Him to “instruct me in the way I should go” regarding aging & He has been so willing to do so.
Crotchety is defined as: fussy, eccentric, grouchy. Those are ugly enough. But further synonyms are: bad-tempered, cantankerous, contrary, crabby, crusty, disagreeable, surly, and my all time do not want to be…curmudgeonly.
Seriously, who aspires to be curmudgeonly?
And so, back to the decorating & yesterday’s lesson….
As boxes came down from the attic, His still small voice said, “Do not be resistant to change. Do not resist.”
I found it to be a strange thing that He was saying to me. But in my heart, I knew it was Him. And then started the questions from my friend….
- “Which lights do you usually put on the tree?”
- “Where do you usually put your tree.”
- “Which of these ornaments do you want to go on?”
- “Do you want bows on the tree?”
- “Which do you want in the family room?”
And quickly I realized what the Lord had been saying, “Do not be resistant to change.”
I replied, “Things do not always need to be the same every year. Place things where YOU think they would look good.”
The result? The tree & house are decorated. The house looks festive. And different. I yielded. I did not resist. That change resulted in a different outcome than the usual. A beautiful & cozy outcome.
As I reflected on this all, I realized how resistant we can be to change. But as we age, we need to make room for change – our children become adults, we gain their spouses, grandchildren are born. Life changes. And the bottom line is – there are other ways to doing life than our way. My way need not be set in stone.
This morning I remembered the words of God in Isaiah:
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert & streams in the wasteland.” (43:18-19 NIV).
If we dwell on the former things, we may very well miss the new thing that God is desiring to bring about in our lives. For the truth is, He often does that new thing in the very least likely place. It may not look like anything we have ever seen before. Yet it is His way.
May we truly learn not to be resistant to change. Let’s post a sign: “No curmudgeon here!”