To Live Is to Grow and to Grow Is to Change
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2 NKJV
It has been often said that, to live is to grow and to grow is to change. Everyone experiences change. In fact, one’s life could be characterized, in some sense, as a process of continuous change, i.e., circumstance after circumstance, event after event, occurrence after occurrence, situation after situation, etc. The Scriptures helps us to understand the change and transition process, and the opportunities it affords. Change doesn’t occur in a vacuum. Change is change only because it ends something old and begins something new. Before you can experience a change in your life, you have to experience an end to what used to be (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Before you can become a new person, you must let go of the identity of the old person. You can’t learn a new way of living, until you let go or unlearn the old way. A new beginning is predicated on an ending. The problem for most people is that, they don’t like endings; therefore, they resist change or otherwise fail to make a transformation from that which ended to a new beginning. This transition (transformation) necessitates a renewing of how you think (Romans 12:2). Change and endings go hand in hand because change causes transition, and transition starts with an ending.
To be sufficiently armed to deal with change, you need to be able to identify the various phases of change and transition that can occur in your life. Looking at how God dealt with Israel and particularly His dealing with them in the wilderness provides an excellent view of how we should react to and handle change events in our life (see the books Exodus, Leviticus, ad Deuteronomy).
The transition between endings and new beginnings is what I call the “Discovery Zone.” In the books of Moses, you can see Israel discovery of God and themselves in the handling of the change and transition processes when God ended their bondage of slavery in Egypt, released them from Pharaoh’s domination, in their difficulty in starting a needed transition, in their wilderness wondering, and in their new beginning in the Promised Land.
When you understand the change and transition principles that applied to the nation Israel, you can deal with the nature of change and its implications. The challenges of transition, i.e., discovering things about God, yourself and others; coming face-to-face with the thoughts of your mind and the feelings of your heart; embracing the opportunities notwithstanding uncertainties; and, not yielding to the temptation to abort the process by seeking short-cuts to ease emotional discomfort and pain. Change and growth necessitate transition and a “wilderness” experience—that desert place; that uninhabited place; that place of desolation and loneliness; that place of test and trials; discipline and humiliation; that time of proving; and, purification and preparation. This process is a “Discovery Zone.” I will share more about the “Discovery Zone” in my next blog post.