Motivation to Change

IMAG0040I had an enjoyable evening last night with Christian and Bridget and the grandchildren. This morning, I even slept in longer than normal. On my way home, I spent several hours at the Capitol. The House and Senate were meeting in a combined session recognizing our military personnel and honoring those from Colorado who lost their lives in the defense of their country. It was good to see General Edwards of the Colorado National Guard. I had an opportunity to do a day trip around Colorado with the General and Reggie Bicha, the Director of the State Human Services Department. We visited several veteran nursing homes back in 2011. It was one of my more memorable experiences to be able to cover a lot of miles in one day in a black-hawk helicopter.  (picture is from several years ago with Gen. Edwards and Reggie Bicha)

It was good to see several legislators and staff members, that I had not seen since last May. They were pleased to see me using my walker instead of a wheelchair. The House chambers have been restored to an earlier era and it was good to see the renovation. I also had the opportunity to tour the new offices for many of the Legislators in building just north of the Capitol.

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… Sometimes it takes a painful experience to make us change our ways.”  (Proverbs 20:30)

“Our only security is our ability to change.” (John Liley) Change is one of those issues that is a constant struggle for individuals or groups. I recall years ago hearing a compelling presentation for a national sales tax to replace the federal income tax and abolish the IRS. I recall visiting with a friend at a reception after the presentation and making the comment, “it sounds good in theory, but the transition and change from the current system to something completely new would be more than the country could handle.”

As Solomon states, “painful experiences [can] make us change.” I recall someone saying, “we change when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of facing the change.”  Sometimes that can be something fairly trivial to something very major in our life. A fellow legislator was suffering from the effects of the flu and said, “after experiencing the last few day, next year I am getting a flu shot!” For someone else, being brought back to life after a drug overdose is motivation to get help and change a lifestyle.

Whether it is our comfort in our routines or our fear of change, it often takes some type of “wake up call” to get our attention. It may be a health, financial or family crisis or the loss of a job that brings the painful experience that leads to change.

Jesus told a parable of a son estranged from his father who was in desperate need of a change in his life. We refer to him as the “prodigal son.” We find these words as a turning point for the young man…

“ one gave him anything to eat.  At last he came to his senses and said, ‘All my father’s hired workers have more than they can eat, and here I am about to starve!  I will get up and go to my father…” (Luke 15:16-18)

The experiences of this young man’s life, allowed him to “come to his senses” – and to change the direction of his life. As he returned to his father, he was ready to humble himself and become just a servant. But when he arrived he found a far different welcome than anticipated.

In our lives we often experience the same result. When we take action to a needed change we have in mind one outcome and the result of the change is often far better than we could have anticipated. This is especially true when we make a change by “running the our heavenly Father.” I recall encouraging people that were confronting important and  frightening issues in life compelling them to change. I would say, “take one step at a time, trusting the Lord to help you and to direct you in your journey.”

Real change doesn’t require a painful experience, but “sometimes” it does. Regardless of the motivation behind our change for the better when we do so in partnership with the Lord we can be confident of a brighter future.