Letting Go of Wannabe-Buts: Part II
Change is hard. I know – shocking, hey? Only not really – I mean, I’m 40 years old. I most definitely was not born yesterday. But yet the fact change can be hard brings me up short time and again.
I was brought up short in it again last night, in fact. And I didn’t handle it very well. Rather than deal with what I was frustrated with (which would have been me not shutting off my default “Piddle Mode” so I could write today’s blog post), I decided to snipe at my husband for not giving me the right pairs of jeans to wash for him. Yes, because it was so hard with my washing machine to do another load. The cherry on top was I then barely talked to him before going to bed. (It was a moldy cherry . . .) (And have I mentioned lately how great my husband is? Because he is.)
To paraphrase a Switchfoot song: Oh! Maturity. When will you ever get it together?
I want change to be easy, like letting go of a balloon. You release the string from your hand, and away it floats. Easey-peasey. Yet it so seldom works that way, particularly with long-held habits. Even with the right focus, change takes work and a consistent effort. What I’m trying to remember is that work, that resistance, builds resilience and strength in me. Just as strength and endurance training strengthen my muscles, so am I strengthened spiritually, mentally, and emotionally when I put in the effort I need to exchange bad habits and mindsets for better ones.
And the best thing is, I don’t have to do it alone. As I mentioned in Monday’s post, Jesus invites us to yoke together with Him, to learn “. . . the unforced rhythms of grace” (Matt. 11:39, Message). I love that – the unforced rhythms of grace. It doesn’t denote a lack of effort or perseverance, of sweat or (possibly) tears. But as with any new movement or new habit, it takes awhile to get the rhythm, for it to become fluid and second nature.
But that change will only come if I don’t quit, if I refuse to take the easy way out because ‘easy’ does not always mean it’s ‘better’. And I want the 'better' that God has for me.