I hate change.
I have always rejoiced in routine. Even as a kid.
My favorite sweatshirt growing up was always the one I had on: a grungy 25-cent garage-sale find. Come Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, I wore it. In fact, the only time I didn't wear it was laundry day, and even then the only way my well-hygiened mother got it was to rip it out of my hands.
And food? I loved nothing more than Fruity Pebbles. Did you know Fruity Pebbles can constitute a whole dietary plan? I did! Breakfast, lunch, dinner? Guess what? They're always delicious!!
So yes, I love routine. Comfort, joy, certainty- all things I find in routine.
So what is my arch enemy?
Well, that would be change.
So you see, there's this prayer I love, that's kind of all about things never changing.
"One thing I ask of You, LORD,
Do not refuse me before I die...
Give me neither poverty nor riches,
But give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise I may have too much and disown You
And say, 'Who is the LORD?'
Or I may become poor and steal
And so dishonor the name of my God."
Basically, the heart of this prayer is: "Don't ever change my circumstances, God. Give me hum-drum, same-old, day-to-day living that never changes, because that's all I want to handle. Not the temptations of poverty or riches, just give me the satisfaction of temptation-free living without change, whether it's a Rolls Royce or Romen Noodles. Either way, as long as it never changes, we'll be good."
But reviewing this favorite prayer of mine this morning I realized, I have been literally praying myself out of a blessing. And that blessing is quite surprising to a person like me, because that blessing is change.
Oh, how GOD grows us.....
So here's the deal for those of you who feel off Train-Obvious like myself. The man who prays to have unchanged circumstances (cough, cough, i.e. me) never grows spiritually. Why? Because he never figures out how to honor God as both a rich person and a poor person.
And that's really important for a follower of Jesus. To learn how to praise God- not just from the cushy insides of a Mercedes or from the broken, glass-filled bottom of an abandoned warehouse but from both places.
So......here's the million dollar question: How will this change my life????
Well, as of this morning I have resigned myself to no longer pray, "LORD, give me neither poverty nor riches." Instead, I plan to pray, "LORD, give me both poverty and riches, so that in whatever state I am in, constant or changing, I will learn to honor Your Name.. Then, having had all, and having had nothing, I will always know how to count You, Jesus, as my only portion and prize no matter what my circumstances."
And though this prayer I plan to pray scares me, I will pray it without fear, fully confident in the One who enables me. This is the One through whom "I can do all things" and bear all changes: "Christ who gives me strength" (Phil 4:13).
Thank you, Jesus, for giving me the courage to embrace change. Help me not to shirk away from it, but to lean into it with the full assurance of Your guiding hand. Use change, I pray, in your lavishly merciful hand to make me grow in unexpected ways. I trust that as You do this gently, I will learn to experience greater dependence on You, and in this I will find joy because You are joy itself.
I love You.