I've been thinking a lot about what it takes for people to change this winter and early spring. We have been talking about this in the New Horizon's support group on Tuesdays at noon. People are not very good at change. In fact, we are pretty terrible.
Easter brings it up again for me. I don't usually talk about my faith on here because I believe you should live your faith, not preach it (unless you are, in fact, a preacher). And my life is such a bad example of what a faith-life could look like that I practice damage control. Also, my religion has publicly been highjacked by some pretty hateful folks that I have no more in common with than aliens, and I don't like to be associated (rant over). But, it occurs to me on Easter after seeing so many beautiful family pictures on Facebook, that many of the people around me profess a belief in a power that could change us, yet we continue to find it almost impossible.
Small changes maybe - ones that ultimately leave us still in charge are okay. I've done lots of these over the past five years as we moved to a more natural, healthy lifestyle. But its the BIG changes that we refuse to let happen: the changes of heart, the total surrender.
For many of us, it isn't that we don't have faith in the power of something bigger than us to change us, I don't think. It is that we don't really, at our core, want to change. Even if our change might free us from pain, we choose familiar control over freedom and surrender.
We are like that poor child on the news who bawled for his abusive mother as well-meaning protectors took him away. We choose pain, harmful relationships, and disease because we know them. We believe in our fast food, our desserts, our alcohol, our pills, our big spending, our bad attitudes, our diagnoses, our prejudices, our search for more, our numbing comforts, and our justified selves more than we believe in the life that could exist without them. For those of us who try and be faithful, we don't really want a life without the things we control. We may believe in God, but we don't believe in that life. It couldn't possibly be better that what we create on our own. Could it?
I don't exclude myself here. I totally feel for those disciples when Jesus tells them to give up everything they love and follow him. I love you, Jesus, I root for you, and you are an important part of my life, but I'm going to have to pass on the "Everything". You couldn't really mean wine, or gluten, my big house, or my anti-snob snobbery! Even though I KNOW you probably have this covered, I cannot knock my ego back far enough to really trust that surrendering would mean freedom. I keep trying to find loop-holes.
Real change does happen sometimes though. It happens in that dangling moment between when you decide to leap and when your feet leave the ground. In that moment there is peace. It happens in that space when we choose to believe a ridiculous, nonsense story just because it is a better story than the one we have created for ourselves. I'd love to hear your real change story.