I’m looking for a new executive assistant. I asked her to make copies of a mileage form I used since 1983. Instead, she completely redesigned it. Now I had to learn to use a new one.
I’m just joking about replacing her. Let me tell you a better story about how much I hate change.
Before there were iPhones, there was a BlackBerry. When my flip phone died, I bit the bullet and got a BlackBerry. It was an early version where the keyboard stuck out from the phone. It had an analog track ball. I held onto it for so many years that AT&T wrote to tell us they no longer supported it.
I wouldn’t upgrade to the digital model. I was good at emailing on that BlackBerry. I could feel the keys. The track ball broke and I repaired it. I was away on a trip when the track ball fell out. I went to a sandwich shop and asked the cashier for some tape so I could tape the track ball back into the phone. When he handed me my sandwich, I asked for a few more pieces of tape in case I needed to repair the track ball again.
Finally, I broke down and got a new digital BlackBerry. We couldn’t get it to work on our computer system. I returned it and replaced it with an iPhone. It wasn’t as scary as I thought. I learned to navigate it. Then my assistant moved my calendar from a paper calendar (yes, I also was using one of them) to an online calendar. I argued with her that I like to see my week at a glance. What I learned was that with email and texting, appointments changed very quickly. With an online calendar, I could glance at my calendar, insert an appointment, all while my assistant and I worked off the same calendar.
I would never go back to my flip phone or a paper calendar.
Let me tell you one more story about a group of people who hated change.
Moses lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. They crossed the Red Sea on dry ground and entered the wilderness. He sent 12 spies to check out the Promised Land. Forty days later, they returned proclaiming it was all that God had promised and more. Then, 10 of them said “But” (which cancels out everything they just said) there are giants in the land, and we appeared to them as grasshoppers. They questioned why Moses brought them out of Egypt to die there. They would rather go back to Egypt and become slaves of Pharaoh than to die in the wilderness.
Think about this. If they did return, would Pharaoh throw them a party? At the first Passover, all the first-born males in Egypt died. I think if they returned, the Egyptians would have killed the men, violated the women and enslaved the children. Knowing this would be their fate, they pleaded with Moses to return to what was familiar.
Therein lies the problem. We prefer what is familiar than to go to a place we have never been to before. If we have been in relationships where there has been abuse or disrespect, we pursue relationships that repeat that same pattern. If we find a relationship where we are treated with dignity and respect, we leave it because it is unfamiliar and pursue a self-destructive relationship because it is familiar.
Let this be the year you step out of your comfort zone. Step out of what is familiar and pursue the life God has planned for you.
I’ll be back in two weeks. Until then, live well my friend.
The Rev. Tony Marciano is the Executive Director of the Charlotte Rescue Mission. He is available to speak to your group. Go to www.charlotterescuemission.org and go to contact us- just ask for Pam.