And Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, and change your garments.
~Genesis 35:2 NKJV~
At what point do we decide that we’ve dwelt in the past long enough and it is time to really move on? What is it about the familiar that keeps us focused in the wrong direction even when we know that it isn’t good for us? Change is scary. Commitment is difficult and sometimes even resembles work. Funny thing, we have no trouble committing to the patterns in our lives which drag us down, but will go out of our way to avoid establishing habits that will lift us up and propel us into a better way of living.
In my experience, it has always been easier to return to what I thought I knew than to go forward into that which I’m sure I have no clue how to navigate without significant difficulty. Taking that first step toward making those kinds of changes is always the hardest. Like the DC Talk song says, “What if I stumble? What if I fall? What if I lose my step and I make fools of us all? Will the love continue when my walk becomes a crawl?” I’ve felt this way every time I’ve tried to do something new. As though the fate of the world depends on my ability to do the right thing at all times. Thankfully, it doesn’t. So, I can rest easier knowing that I’m not nearly as important as I’d like to think I am. If I stumble, people will simply do one of a few things; walk around me, walk over me, walk away from me, or stop to help me back to my feet.
The point here is that rather than take the opportunity that lies in front of us, many of us choose to hang back and repeat the behaviors that have kept us in a perpetual cycle of unhappiness. And our only justification in doing so has been that we already know what to expect from the hell we currently occupy. Why create more uncertainty than we already feel? God would say to us, at least I think He would say, how will you ever know what blessings lie on the other side of those trials if you wrap yourself up in them and refuse to come out? Yes, transition is painful. Yes, change is unsettling. And yes, sometimes we have to leave things behind that do nothing but hold us in place. But what happens when we step outside of that comfort zone and follow His leading is amazing…no matter what it takes to get to the other side. If He is in the center of it all, the end result is beauty for the ashes we have been sitting in.
So, my advice to you is to get up, grab a broom and start sweeping those ashes into a neat, little pile. Put them in a little bag and carry them willingly (and only for a moment) to the next stage of your journey. And when the time comes, hand them over to Him and let Him show you what it means to be truly transformed by His grace and mercy. He makes all things new. Let Him take over from here. He does good work.
If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait, Till my change comes.
~Job 14:14 NKJV~