As a rule, I don’t like change. I like structure and consistency and predictability. I don’t like surprises and venturing from my plan or my routine is usually not my idea of a good time. This is all well and good, except for the fact that living things change. Stagnant things stay the same. If those are my two options: living or stagnant, I will definitely choose the former. I don’t want to be stagnant, I don’t want to remain the same as I’ve always been, which means having to make a change. But that change is rarely easy.
Does anyone else have this same struggle? I sure hope I’m not alone in this.
What forces us to make conscious changes in our lives? Oftentimes, I’ve found that it has to cost me more to stay the way I’ve always been for me to move. For example, lately I’ve been eating terrible foods and it’s been negatively impacting my body. I’ve felt sick and have been in such pain over the past few months, mostly as a result of the bad food choices I’ve been making. The pain had to become almost unbearable for me to give up carbs and sweets. I didn’t want to feel sick and hurt day in and day out anymore – I was sick and tired of it! So I changed my diet, cut out bread and sugar and dairy. I’m a little over a week or so into it, so we’ll see what happens, but this change seemed like a no-brainer to me. My alternative was to continue wallowing in pain and that’s not a good look on anyone.
When it comes to my eating habits I waited until the pain was too much before I changed. Have you ever done that before? Waited to make a change until things were absolutely awful? That’s how it works for me a great deal of the time. But what if we decided to make pre-emptive changes? What if we made life-giving choices before we hit rock bottom?
I grew up around addiction; alcoholics and drug addicts were part of my family and friend groups, this was a culture that was normal to me. So, when I began drinking at the ripe age of 21, I was determined to not fall into the same trap so many of my loved ones had.
A little over 5 years later, at the end of 2016, I began noticing a pattern in my thought-life: I thought about alcohol a lot. I would arrive at work and, within an hour or so, I would be thinking about how I needed a drink of some sort. I would never act on these things, I was far too exhausted by the time I got off work, but those thoughts began to disturb me. Then I decided to make a change — I wouldn’t drink anymore. Alcohol would no longer be part of my life for the rest of my life. And just like that, I was done.
Was it hard? Yes. Are there days that I still want to drink? Yes, of course. But I’m so thankful that I made this decision. I’m so glad that I didn’t wait until it was an obvious, external problem before making a change.
I want to begin cutting unhealthy things out of my life before they become a big glaring problem. I want to be so in tune with what God’s saying that I can say ‘no’ to the things that are less than his best.
How do you usually go about making changes in your life? Are there any areas where you could currently make a change? Could you preemptively cut out a habit that might not be the healthiest option for you?
““All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.” 1 Corinthians 10:23 (ESV)