Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Tree that Wouldn't Change

It has become a fall and winter ritual for me to talk to, or more likely about, the tree that is in my front yard. You see, the tree is not an evergreen, but it wants to be -- really bad! Every year it is the same old routine. The trees on our street begin to change the colors of their leaves and then they slowly dispense them, generally into my yard. I end up raking more leaves out of my yard that come from my neighbor's trees than I do of the tree that sits squarely in the middle of my yard.

Resistant to Change

I have come to realize that my tree, like many people, doesn't like change. In fact, it is incredibly resistant to change. Some years, it does not shed its leaves at all. Even though it is surrounded by other trees that actually know what season it is, it adamantly fights to keep it's green coat.

A few mornings back, Karlene and I went out in front of the house and took pictures of our delusional tree and also our neighbor's trees (that do not seem to have the same allusions of grandeur). You can see the trees that are across the street in photos 1, 2, and 3. But take a look at our tree -- clearly it has issues.

As I am writing this, it is but a few minutes away from a new year and a new decade. Nothing that I can do will stop the inevitable march of time. Change comes whether we want it or not and whether we like it or not. In fact, change is constant. It is continual. So why is it that people (like my tree) are so resistant to change? Here are a few reasons...

1. People misunderstand why they must change.

2. People lack ownership in the changing process.

3. People don’t like to change their habit patterns.

4. People feel the new is not worth the price.

5. People resist when they are threatened with the loss of something valuable.

6. People are satisfied or comfortable with the old.

7. Tradition: we have never done it that way before.

Change is the Price All of Us Must Pay for Growth.
Growth equals change; you cannot grow unless you change. Too often, people confuse immobility with stability. Just because one remains entrenched in the status quo doesn't mean that things are stable as a result. Time keeps on ticking and change keeps on happening -- no matter what we think or do. It takes place in spite of us.

It's important to recognize that in order to go "up" we must give up. Don't fight change, curse change or fear change. Instead, remember that the author of change is the very one who, by nature, is unchangeable (Malachi 3:6). He is the one who set the "times and seasons" in order!

Don't be like the tree in my yard and fight change, but be a change agent! This new year, make those changes that you need to make in order to move forward in your faith, in your family and in life. You can do it! Start today!