The other night my husband turned on the TV and Fools Rush In happened to be on. We ended up watching it and I found it interesting, at the end, when Matthew Perry’s character seemed floundering and a crazy old priest said “Signs are everywhere”… and then, there were signs.
Whenever it seems that God is teaching me something, it’s the same way. Particularly this week I’ve been working through some decisions and it involves change. So many phrases keep coming up, in books I’m reading, articles people share even simple conversations with friends. The signs are everywhere: Change is uncomfortable.
It’s relevant to all areas in our lives. I see it particularly in the minimalist movement- either with people “wishing” they could live that way, or as people work through the decluttering process to get there. Change is hard.
When we have clutter in our life, it’s because we’re used to it. It’s familiar. We’ve always been surrounded by clutter and so even if we daydream of a clean and clear home, there is a big part of us that is terrified of it. It’s unfamiliar. Which means, we don’t really know if it will be life-changing, we don’t really know what it will be like to live without a to-do list that is a mile long, we don’t really know how we’ll keep it that way. So many variables. And we Just. Don’t. Know.
So, often, we choose unhappiness over uncertainty.
Yes, we are unhappy in our chaotic surroundings. Yes, we are unhappy with the way we spend our time. Yes, we are unhappy in unhealthy relationships. But we know what to expect, so there is a certainty. And oddly enough, we find comfort in certainty, even when we’re unhappy.
Change is uncomfortable. It’s not bad- in fact, it may be the best thing EVER. But as the changes are taking place and we don’t know what will come next- we get anxious. We have a fear inside us and it just seems easier to stay put, stay in these unpleasant situations, stay in our home surrounded by stuff, simply because we know what to expect.
It reminds me of a story I heard from Van Hagestad…
A man stops by to visit a farmer. They sit down on the front porch, sipping some iced tea and as they visit an old dog is sleeping nearby. Now and then the dog let out a yowl and a whimper and seemed rather uncomfortable.
After some time the man asked the farmer: “What is wrong with your dog?”
The farmer replied, “Right where he is sleeping, there is a nail that is sticking up and it’s jabbing him.”
The man scratched his head and asked: “Why doesn’t he just get off the nail?”
“Well,” said the farmer, “it doesn’t hurt that bad.”
And there we are. In our clutter. In our mess. In our overscheduled lives. In our unhealthy relationships. In our lukewarm spirituality. And we whine and complain… but we don’t move. Because it doesn’t hurt that bad.
So I challenge you: You know the thing you been putting off, because it’s uncomfortable to face it or change it? Take a deep breath, pray for wisdom and go do it.
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