What does it mean to be “set in your ways”? Is that a bad thing? There are definitely some perks to being organized, having a routine, and practicing good habits. But I hope I never get so focused on doing things the way I’ve always done them that God has to hit me over the head to get me to consider other options.
I started thinking about the many things I do exactly the same every day…like brushing my teeth. I always brush the left side first. I tend to park in the same area in parking lots. I have a certain order I apply my make-up. For years I sat in the same spot at church.
Then things suddenly changed. Two of my children married and moved away. David, my side kick, went to heaven. My other two children started attending another church. So I found myself sitting alone on a pew that only a few years ago was occupied with my family of six.
Sitting there with everything the same except for the absence of my family was just too painful. That’s when I realized that although I couldn’t bring my family back, I could change my seating arrangements. So I looked for other ladies who were sitting alone and joined them. Now neither of us are sitting alone.
Once I broke the “habit” of sitting in the same spot at church, I began to look for other ways to shake up my life. I started parking in different areas even though I often shop at the same stores. (I live in a very small town!) I experimented with listening to different music and trying new radio stations. I tried some new food.
I’m finding that learning to be more flexible has helped in several ways.
- I’m a little more patient (only a little) when people don’t do things the way I would do them because I’m more aware that there are often lots of other options now.
- I’ve gained some self-confidence as I’ve ventured out, conquered, and survived unscathed.
- And most importantly, I’m more open-minded about ways God might be working in my life.
My husband used to often say, “Things are always changing. You think they will stay the same, but they won’t. Friends come and go. Circumstances change.” I didn’t think much about it then, but wow! Was he ever right! Little did he know how true that would become for both of us! In a few short years both of us would begin our battle with cancer along with a host of other life-changing events.
As a homeschooling homemaker raising four little ones, my days were pretty predictable. For years there were the daily responsibilities of lessons to teach, dishes to wash, meals to cook, laundry to clean, bills to pay, and diapers to change. I didn’t realize at the time that those were probably the best years of my life.
Now the children are grown and the house is cleaner than it’s ever been, but it is much too quite. A house is just lumber and paint without your loved ones. It’s your family that makes a home. I’m thankful I had a good home with lots of love and laughter where many happy memories were made.
I hope I’m not depressing you, but if you are where I was twenty years ago, try to…
- appreciate your family and tell them often
- laugh at the spilled drinks at dinner time and
- don’t miss the blessings of today pining for something tomorrow
And if you’re where I am today, let’s try to…
- seize the opportunities to serve the Lord in new ways
- pray for our loved ones, visit, and encourage them when we can
- have the courage to do things we’ve never done before
We may be reluctant to change, but it’s going to happen. We can go kicking and screaming or we can go with the flow. It’s our choice. And, as I’ve said many times before, there ARE some eternal things that are constant and never change…
- God’s love
- God’s faithfulness
- God’s grace
- God’s mercy
- God’s goodness
- God’s character
It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22)
So in this ever-changing world may we depend on our never-changing God!
Have a blessed day!
Keep looking up,