Is it time for a change? The tumultuous 2022 ended about six weeks ago, and many things seem to have gotten worse in our country and in many places around the world.
Perhaps you, like many folks, made goals about changing some things this year. Where are you with that?
Maybe it’s some important relationship, your job, or other aspects of life you want to change, and see 2023 as an opportunity to reset, to start over. You hope these changes and adjustments that will make your life more enjoyable and meaningful.
Is it time for a change? If so, what exactly do you want to change in your life?
I have some good news for you! Change is possible. By God’s grace and your effort, you can experience meaningful change. God will meet you at the point of your effort.
But, let’s be honest, change is one the most difficult things we can do. But it is also one of the most rewarding things we can invest our time and effort in doing. I want to help you with your effort to make a change by exploring what I call “Four Important Life Questions.” This is the introduction to those four questions. Here’s a story to start you on your journey.
A man had an appointment in an area of town that was unfamiliar to him. After consulting his maps (no GPS available), he decided to take the subway to a point near his destination and finish his trip on foot.
He planned for plenty of time to find his way once he started. (He was attempting to be responsible). He also took a map of the area to give him specific directions. However, in his anxiety to get off the subway at the right stop, he accidentally disembarked one stop too early.
Taking a deep breath to calm himself, he approached a policeman standing near and asked for directions. The friendly policeman assured him he was not far from his destination and gave him directions, “Go down the street in front of you for two blocks and take the first left. Then, go three blocks and turn right. You can’t miss it.” The visitor thanked the helpful policeman, looked at his watch, and walked confidently toward his destination.
After the man was out of sight the policeman realized he had made a mistake. The correct direction was to take the first right after two blocks and the left after three blocks. Realizing his mistake the policeman attempted to follow the man but was called on to help with a traffic jam.
The man continued following the policeman’s directions and after several minutes realized it was nearly time for his appointment. Anxious that he might miss the appointment, he began to run. But, the faster he ran the farther he moved in the wrong direction. He eventually got turned around and headed toward his destination but missed the opportunity.
The “moral” of this story? Wrong directions, even when sincerely followed, always lead you to someplace other than where you want to be. Some people, like the man in the story, give a good effort to follow a life map or directions only to end up at the wrong place.
How does this story relate to you?
Change is not simple. Some people talk about it or sing about it but don’t tell you how to get it done. Several years ago, Taylor Swift had a song entitled “Change.” See what you think about what the song says https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1GCEB_enUS984US984&sxsrf=ALiCzsa2tJrKkDs620p1nTHcaEA4m1-fNQ:1669132477708&q=Taylor+Swift+Change&si=AC1wQDAUAOALh81u6tTAFPvgAq0sZvoYV52UGcqgD49OazmhmvDzX1NXS08blrYl40briftNVhRSiLkWqQP_nk-b7ZKmfqpf4u3EKaW9u9ZrciJ6yVKZBZ1ZLvbfUfykBq7p4toth1rC5LDLqRvpAB928oIrv4q4_Je2_6HsP2QAFf7boqoqQSw9bEsCMRO1pYvGfw-j81J_&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjZtqqDk8L7AhW4l2oFHWPxCE4Q6RN6BAgWEAE&biw=1280&bih=577&dpr=1.5‘.
I have met many people through my counseling career and have, at times, found myself needing a course correction. The people who came to see me wanted to change something that was giving them trouble. Some were successful, others were not.
The four important life questions which follow evolved out of my work with people who were trying to find a better, less painful way to live.
While the questions are simple, they can lead you to deal with rather profound issues. They also can be helpful when applied to many ordinary daily circumstances. Stay tuned, we will deal with the first important life question in the next post.