Thursday, August 15, 2013

Overcoming a Fear of Change

Last week, my church put on a Vacation Bible School--also known as a VBS--called Colossal Coaster World.  The whole theme of the event, as seen in the logo to the right, was "Facing Fear, Trusting God."  Though I was well past the age limit to be in classes meant for elementary-age kids, I attended not only because they were having adult classes, but because my sister was one of the driving forces behind it all.  As I saw the kids singing about facing their fears, trusting in the One who created them, standing up for what's right, etc., I realized something: For far too long, I have been subscribing to a fearful mentality.  I never took any driving lessons with a professional instructor for fear that I would actually get my license, and then proceed to die in a car accident; I haven't been to any of the theme parks in my area in over a decade because I was always afraid I wouldn't like them as much as I did when I was a kid, and, therefore, it would be a big waste of money; I currently have some single female friends who I think could potentially be more than friends--no, I won't name names!--but, fear of rejection and the ruination of our friendships keeps me from "asking them out"; I didn't go to see Victoria Justice or Bridgit Mendler at their local recent concerts for fear of bad weather--i.e., rain or insanely hot temperatures--and being out too late; and, there are countless other similar stories I could mention.

When it comes to such matters, I have to ask myself: Why am I not trusting God?  If God knows I shouldn't be driving, He would tell me somehow; in fact, I think He already has.  If a relationship between me and any of my female friends were meant to happen, she would say yes when I "asked her out"; otherwise, she would say no, and then I just would cut my losses and move on.  If theme parks weren't for me, I would be hindered from going by something other than just me saying, "I don't want to go."  Sure, some of those things may involve taking a risk, but, as I once heard someone say, "Those who never took a risk never got anywhere."
Note: Actual business meeting not pictured.

As if that alone wasn't enough, yesterday, the library system for which I work had our annual staff day, and one of the members of the system's administration team made a presentation about change.  His whole point was that we shouldn't be "stuck in our ways" and be open to new technologies, experiences, and materials in our library.  Part of his presentation showed photos of other libraries in our state and a neighboring area, and one of them showed an X-Box 360 a library.  He specifically mentioned that one, saying, "Who would have thought, ten years ago, that you would see an X-Box or PlayStation at a library?" Though video games at un biblioteca may seem out of place to most of you, that appears to be the future of libraries; his point was, instead of shunning such change, we should embrace it.

Yes, he was only talking about the library system; however, his points can also apply in a broader sense.  You probably know that I have always been hesitant to change.  When anything changed--when we moved, when the place, time, and day of my weekly Cub Scout meetings changed, when a teacher required me to do things a different way than I had done them previously--I always had to ask: Why? Why the change? Why can't we do it how, when, or where were doing it before?  If you look back at some of my old writings from the past decade or so, you will see quite a bit of that.

In the past, I've talked about how I thought it was ridiculous when people did things nobody liked, or that didn't really work for anyone, only because it "was the way we've always done it."  I always said: If it isn't working for you, then maybe you should change it! Unfortunately, as I recently realized, I failed to apply that to me as well.  For quite a while now, I've been doing too much of the same things, while lamenting about how my life isn't what I want it to be, and blaming external factors for that being the case.  That doesn't mean I should completely give up on what I like to do; it does mean, however, that some changes are in order.

Some of you longtime readers of my blog may remember that I did numerous posts where I started to talk about change, only to end by saying that I didn't need it.  One former friend described it this way: "The theme I have noticed in recent posts of yours is you questioning why you are where you are in life or is there more to life, and by the end of your blog entry you've talked yourself back to everything's fine, I'll just keep doing what I'm doing."  You may think that I'm going to end on that point...but I'm not.  Seriously, I know that I'm in need of change.  What is it? I don't know.  When will it come? Your guess is as good as mine.  All I know is: Instead of shying away from change--even if it involves taking a risk or facing a fear--I should be embracing it, because, otherwise, I won't get anywhere.

Any comments?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sooooo.....standing challenge:
Sing the collosal coaster song while riding apollo's chariot at BG.

You bring up good points...funny thing is that I felt the same away while I was working VBS this summer. I realized that God placed this amazing young woman in my life for a reason, and has presented us with SOOOOO many challenges and she's stuck with my thru thick and thin. We've been rocky, and I felt like I was in a nervous place. After 3.5years, it was either time to Step up or run. Needless to say recent events, including VBS, have shown me that theres a reason she stuck around. And that even when I've felt like walking away, I stayed.

God is Good, brother.