Friday, March 29, 2013

I Refuse Change!

I once worked for a company that did not embrace change at all. I'd ask why something was done a certain way and would be told, "because it's how we've always done it." I'd offer a suggestion for a new way to do it and would be told, "we can't do it that way! We've never done it that way before."

To face this attitude is difficult, to say the least. Change is a good thing. Why can't others see this? And yet, after a few years there, a new employee came up to me and asked why we do something this way, when this other way would be easier, and I found myself replying "because this is how we've always done it." I realized what I said almost immediately, and back-peddled. Change is inevitable and is necessary.

Yesterday I read a blog regarding about getting our self-esteem from our pasts. There was some very good points in there about how you get those people who say "I remember when things were this way." "That's not how Pastor so-n-so did things." It centered around how we get to a point where we turn our past into an idol. And it was then that it dawned on me that I'm just as guilty of this.

A few posts ago, I wrote about a new interim pastor at my church, and how I didn't like her. Sadly, the only reason I could come up with is that she's a "feel-good" person. Yes, a sad excuse for not liking her as a pastor. I had told someone else I didn't like her because she's too friendly. Again, a pathetic excuse for not likely her as a pastor.

The truth is, I didn't like her because she isn't the pastor I have looked up to. She isn't the pastor who led me back to God and the church. She isn't the pastor who has been my mentor and friend. She isn't the pastor who helped me through some very difficult times this past year. She's someone different. She's his replacement for now, until we find a new pastor. She's the change. And the truth is, I didn't like her before I even met her. I didn't like her from the moment I heard a new pastor was coming into our church. I didn't know her name. I had never heard her preach. But I didn't like her.

After hearing her minister that first Lenten service, I decided she's too friendly. I don't want her as the pastor. That was the only "bad" thing I could come up with for why I didn't want her as a pastor. I have since been to a Sunday morning service, a funeral, and Maundy Thursday service with her as the minister, and have met with her on a couple occasions in regards to our Youth Group conducting Sunrise Service on Easter morning. She's a great pastor. She's a wonderful woman. She's going to be good for our church during this time where we're between pastors. And yet, I still find it hard to like her just because I catch myself still having that mindset of her not being the pastor described above. HE was the great pastor... the wonderful person.

Yes, I hate change. I especially hate change when it revolves around people. And I always have - especially when it is someone I look up to, or when it's someone I know and am comfortable with. I had an Algebra teacher one year who became a mentor of mine. He was a wonderful person and teacher, and I knew I could count on him. Even though the next year I had to have a new teacher (and new math class), I still went to this one for answers. I didn't like the new guy. The same happened when I was in college - I had an English professor who encouraged and inspired me to continue with my writing. I was lucky enough to have her each quarter that first year. The second year, I hated the professor I ended up with. And there was nothing wrong with him other than the fact that he wasn't this other professor.

I get to the point where I almost idolize the mentors in my life, to the point of not allowing anyone else in. I get to the point where I almost idolize the past, to the point of not allowing myself to grow in Christ.

God is unchangeable. Life - the people in it, the church, the communities - these do change. They have to change if we want to grow. God is irreplaceable. People, while not replaceable in our hearts, do change - they move away, or pass away; just as new people move into our lives. We have to hold those gone in hearts and prayers, while still accepting these new people. We should not be focusing on our pasts, or idolizing our pasts or the past people in our lives, to the point where it affects our growth. 

At this point, I am going to stop this self-reflection, and instead point you to the blog post I read yesterday:
Self-esteem and the Past . It's a good read (in my opinion).

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