Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Change Managment

I am sitting in Starbucks with a rare treat for me, an Iced Peppermint Mocha. I am not a big Starbucks fan, that is my wife, but I needed WiFi while I am kicked out of the apartment for a few hours, and so here I am.
Yes... that is right. I got the boot. I was shooed out of my own home. Sent packing.
Well... sort of.
My wife is hosting for the first time a Women's Promise Group and it is being held in our small apartment. And, since I surprisingly not female, out I go to give them some privacy.
On the up side, I get a chance to write! And come November I am going to try and take part in NaNoWriMo, so that will be nice. But still, it's rather different. I am not used to not being home during the weeknights. I feel out of place, like I am about to turn around and find that I misplaced something.
Change can be awkward. Whether you are changing your relational status or just changing your hair style it can be un-nerving when you go through life and catch yourself acting as though you were in your former state and, woah, you changed!
At work the various IS managers have a weekly meeting called Change Management where they all discuss what changes are coming and how to... well... manage them. If Servers is going to replace some of the virtual drives, how is Database going to handle the downtime? How will Application Development be affected when Wide Area Networks team takes down the Disaster Recovery side for a day to move locations? With out a plan or an awareness of what is coming up and what has already happened we tend to not manage our changes well. This is why Pre-Marital Counseling is such a big deal! Change is coming, folks! Be ready!
In our spiritual lives change has happened. In the church we have many ways of showing that we have been changed, but not so much in the way of managing the change, of dealing with it on a very practical level. We don't have a concrete way of saying "Hey, if I know this happened, then I need to respond and adapt through X."
Sure, we have some disciplines we teach, prayer, scripture study and memorization, worship, etc. All of those are good, and I don't want to detract from them. But I think our Change Management needs to be a little more... every-moment.
"Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory."
Paul gives a direction here in Colossians 3. We need to stop thinking about the worldly things and seek heavenly things. In the following verses he goes into great depth about what we should avoid and what we should seek, but the basics is this: You Died, you were Resurrected, now stop living like you were dead. You changed. Get down to the nitty gritty and change the things that have acting like you haven't changed: Your thoughts. Our actions and habits all derive from our thoughts, and if we can change our thoughts we can change our actions and our lives.
One of the ways I live this out is that I choose to think about how I can serve my wife before I serve myself. This does NOT come natural to me, and often I have as an act of my will choose to take what I *want* and say "No, I love my wife and she is more important to me than my personal desires. I will serve her before I serve myself." I choose what I will think.
Something strange happened. It's become easier and easier to think of her first. It is less and less of a struggle and more and more a joy to go out of my way to serve my wife.
My life changed. I got married. I managed that change my managing my thoughts towards how I treat her. And in managing my thoughts I became successful in my new environment.
If that is the power Change Management has in just my marriage, imagine the power of changing our thoughts towards serving at church, towards work, towards the hurting family members who have spurned us, to the way we see and serve our God.
Just my thoughts as I sit here at Starbucks.
Change... maybe it's not so bad after all.

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