Is It Time For A Change?

Is it time for a change? The tumultuous 2022 ended a few days ago. That was a rough year for many of us and we hope 2023 will be kinder to us.

Perhaps you, like many folks have made or are making goals for the New Year. You want some things in your relationships and other aspects of life to change and see 2023 as an opportunity to re-set, to start over, or make some 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?

There’s some good news for you at the beginning of this New Year. 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.

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 change by exploring what I call “Four Important Life Questions.” This is the introduction to those four questions. I begin with this story.

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 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 him self, 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 a 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 some place 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.

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 some of these people through my counseling career and have, at times, found myself needing a course correction. 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.

changeIs it time for a change, a new direction or road in your life?

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.

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