Prayer and the Hope of Change

 The time is now and the hope is for prayer and changing for the better

 Where I am now?

I’ve left my prayer a little. I’m leaving prayer behind because I’ve been busy trying to change. When I make the changes I want to make, I’ll get back to prayer.

I am hiding myself behind the brick wall of my businesses? The brick wall of the person I believe I should have been and what I should have had? Is everything so sacred I can’t change it? Why is there such a resistance to change at so many levels? Can I approach candidly and adjust candidly to the changes I hope to make?

I might say, “I have to do this”, sigh or I might enthusiastically say “I have to do this”. How I truly feel makes all the difference.

Maybe I don’t like the way things are developing, but I stay with the project no matter what out of the idea that determination will get me through, without at least questioning what I am doing in the first place. The change I might have needed was to go no further.

I might be blindfolded to what is possible for me just by picking up so many messages from so many sources that most if not all has little pertinence to me, and this just causes a heap of confusion. I didn’t grab at the first opportunity, that first sighting and now it’s all over for me.

Then I might believe that I am not going to pick up on the change I am attempting. I don’t trust my ability to pick up on things.

A personal example is the one time I did try skiing, I was unsure of how I would pick up on it. Although, I just went down the beginners slope, I was surprised that I picked on it well and really didn’t fall at all. I might have thought my pick up on this would be more difficult having never done this previously.

Much of what I want often invokes the challenges of changing. One of the difficulties in perceiving on what I actually want, which would invoke change, is my latching on to stoppages or stopping thoughts and this relates to a belief that God might only work for me within narrow confines, only if I can be this type of person in his eyes. All we know is limitations and because of this we tend to project this on everything else including God. But God can pour in an infinite amount of grace in any given situation and in any given moment, regardless of whatever the past might have been.

I might be half way convinced on what I might want to do, and that hesitation turns into a not now.

One of the inhibitors of change is a lack of trust that I can do things on the fly. This might come from being drilled into preparation for so many things for so long but then I get stuck in the preparation phase. I can meditate on how in the past I have done well in situations where I did not have a lot of time to prepare and I was using somewhat spontaneous abilities.

Another inhibitor to change is an improper mix that I am attempting maybe even inadvertently. I might for example write a science fiction short story and I want to put some self help advice in at the end, mixing an essay with a story. Other situations in my life might be less obvious but the problem is that I am trying to mix as the expression goes apples and oranges into a particular situation that I want to change and it’s got to be either one or the other.

Another inhibitor at the spiritual level might be that I don’t realize that much of what I am asking for might in part relate to something God has already given me. If I already through a baseball 90 miles an hour, I am asking God maybe for some pitching tips, but he gave me that 90 mile an hour fastball in the first place. We forget about things like good genes.

I would like to do this or try that, but I stop. Religious belief can be studded with rules and regulations that seem to form into a formula I could or might get into and if believe I can till the land between those lines, I’ll get my fruit. These limitations I am imposing might work against the idea of prayer because the truth of prayer in not about rules that limit but the vastness of God and any rules he gives are only towards properly containing that vastness, in ways best for me. Anything I am doing wrong is ultimately against that vastness. What I can do that might hurt myself and others is going against the vastness of the good things that God has for me.

The “everything is no good mentality” hinders my efforts at change or at least trying for a more objective view that might be had. Often I might inject this mentality into situations where I just don’t know. Prayer itself can be a great mystery where I just don’t know.

This couldn’t be for me. This wouldn’t be for me. If I finally by sheer luck trip of something that is good, could I recover for the fall and take hold of this for myself?.

It would be like someone going on a trip to Europe and saying, this is no good, that is no good without having ever been to Europe. There have been many places in prayer that you have never been to, never traveled too.

Often as well we are hindered from change by expecting too much too soon. I could say I’m not that great, or I’m just good, to release the pressure point. I’m not going to lose 30 pounds on a one day diet. I’m not going to hit a hole in one on the 450 yard tee off on the golf course. I am not going do cartwheels skiing down a 4000 foot mountain on my first trip to the slopes in years. I’m not going to run a 4 minute mile on my first attempt at this distance in a long time. I’m not going to give the greatest speech ever known to mankind at this lunch meeting. I am looking for all these great things for myself I begin to run up a bill for the difference if I can’t get there. I am paying for not making it there by being hard on myself and not living up to the billboard I put out there for myself and ultimately I don’t like this feeling of being hard on myself so I am less likely to change. And I’m not going to have to say the best prayer in the history of mankind in order to approach God in prayer right here and now.

I might aim for lighter goals, maybe not seeking to climb all the way to the top of Everest but going half way to the summit, and still experiencing what is feels like to climb this terrain.

Prayer is in part entering a mystery where I am communicating into a vastness where God says His thoughts about me are more numerous than every grain of sand by the sea. (Psalm 139) He referred to the vastness of space when communicating to Abraham. God is on both sides of the Atlantic. I can peruse this vastness in prayer as I begin to try to understand the mystery of a God in His vastness and how this vastness has been and is still applied to one individual.

The goodness of God in its vastness overwhelms all else including anything I can think of, including any proposed change we want to make. At the same time, because of this vastness, which is found in prayer, a lot more is possible in the here and now than we might have first believed as far as change. Ephesians chapter 1 verse 18 and 19, “I pray that your inward eyes may be illuminated, so that you may know what is the hope to which he calls you, what the wealth and glory of the share he offers you among his people in their heritage, and how the vast resources of his power open to us who trust in him.”

An example of this turning against today might be found in China with mandatory abortion, the purpose of which to limit the population and this act of killing a segment of the population, and it could be any segment if the criteria are to limit the population, is a turning against vastness of the population and ultimately the vastness of God.

The criteria for change could involve that I just surpass what I have been doing before. If I hate my job, it might be easy to surpass that with something else I can find somewhere that I might like. So I don’t have to set the world on fire this way, I just have to surpass what I have been doing previously to get into an agreement with the proposed change.

I’m always involved with change, whether I prefer it or not, if I don’t change myself, the world around me certainly will, and there is always going to be another turn of the clock, whether this clock is a day, a month or a year or more, time will zip by, like the rush of a waterfall. If you don’t change you might see everything run by you.

I might want some changes as well or things I am attempting to do or take on are involving change. I can identify where I would want a breakthrough and this will tell me that I want some changes that will help me find this breakthrough. At the breakthrough point, where the sun is pointing, there I will find what the changes will be.

Are there really any outside rules and regulations that actually enter in the life of prayer, that inhibit change, that tow the line and keep me docked only at this shore?

Can I change with prayer and can prayer change with me? Can I pray as a changed person? Coming to God in a seemingly altered state? And if I am pinning my hopes on change and can’t get there, can I still pray without first being better than I was?

Is God holding me back from that big leap I want to make, because if I make it I’ll no longer be praying from my familiar position? Is there vitality to prayer that will allow me to change? Do I feel my prayers are hindering me towards some hoped for changes and that I’m holding myself back because of my commitment to prayer and the person I feel I have to be in order to pray?

Maybe I do feel God wants me to change for the better, but when I get there, he will suddenly lower the boom, in some fashion, for some reason. Or that measuring stick is always in front of me, and if suddenly I don’t pass the muster, it will all be taken away from me. Do I believe God will set my on the course of change and abandon me at the first point of arrival?

First and foremost when referring to change I need to realize that God’s speaks to us out of his vastness. He spoke to Abraham out of a vastness telling him that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky and the grains of sand on the seashore. When He finally spoke to Job He referred to this mysterious vastness. Psalm 139 says that God’s thoughts towards me as an individual are so numerous that they are uncountable, and there is no narrowing of His thought process.

What inhibits our view of change within prayer is shown in some of the verses of the New Testament where it talks of the difficulties of entering the narrow gate of the kingdom. This refers to the lure of worldly passions where there is a danger of turning away from God with free will. But in turning to God in prayer, I am not looking to enter a narrow gate per say but I am facing towards a God who has and will communicate out of a vastness referred to in his prior words to Abraham, Job, and others. God is not looking back to us through a narrow gate, as his thoughts about you or me exceed the all the grains of sand by the sea and are basically uncountable.

One thing to interject in this thought process is any movement of the Spirit right there and then while I am praying. If I physically feel a strong sense of peace while praying for something or about something, this could represent a strong current and leading of the Spirit towards this in a practical sense. God is coloring this path with his presence in a particular way. God might speak to me through the senses. Has the Spirit moved for me in some way? Is prayer going to be the pacesetter for me in practical ways?

If am a really resisting the changes I really want to make, then the scapegoat for a avoiding these changes can be found in almost anything I would want to do, At this time, say for example, for now first I am praying and then I am also committed to an extensive course of study say in scientific courses, and a workout regiment at the gym. My proposed loci of change falls outside this, so I can use any of these three prior commitments as my ready made excuse not to change, Then somehow my prayer time seems to be another change stopper or is identified as such when I could really think of it as form which is free flowing and has nothing to do with advancing my own problems with getting into and accepting changes. I think, if I wasn’t praying so much, after all, and I might just be sitting in a church with my prayers in some cases and not really moving about physically, I’d be changing more and this way I feel I’m more on the move. But if God opens a window while I am praying, should I get up to close the window and go back to my prayers?

Jesus said to the rich man, leave everything and follow me, asking him to make a change. He couldn’t make that particular move. It wasn’t necessarily that he was rich per say and this is what hobbled him towards the change, but that he had prior commitments that enveloped him, or just seemed so important to him that he felt he always had to be mindful of these riches or else they might go away, and this would keep him where he was. If someone has a great singing voice, if she doesn’t think about her great voice every hour of the day, is that great singing voice going to vanish on her? Paul obviously was a multitalented individual whom we can see by his writings alone and his talents didn’t disappear on him when he followed Jesus. So he, the rich man, missed out on the vastness and richness involved in experiencing the personal presence of Jesus throughout his life. In another case, it might be another person who is poor, who had a prior commitment to begging and wants to maintain the spot he knows for himself. He has a prior commitment to begging and this is what he is used to and familiar with. Most often, my excuse is in the form of so called prior commitments, I don’t want to be rich I am already committed to being relatively poor because I am guaranteed hours with this low paying position and I don’t want to take a chance on other possibly more lucrative endeavors that would involve some changes on my part and would bring me to circumstances that are more variable and less trustworthy for that reason. I don’t want company as I am already committed to being alone. Prior commitments also include just a way of thinking including the way I think about myself. What I have becomes familiar and its hard to replace the familiar, there is a tendency to stay with what you know already. I can’t hold up my thoughts about myself or anything as paramount when I go into prayer because God thoughts about me are exceedingly more vast about me than any thoughts I could come up with even in a lifetime chronology of thoughts.

In the case of the rich man, he might have had great potential as a follower of Jesus. He might have been very talented, and might have had Paul like potential. He might with those same talents he used to garner riches and used these talents as a personal friend of the Lord and in playing a role in the furtherance of the early church. Jesus may have seen the potential in him, and called him for this potential and it didn’t have to be that he declined this invitation. Maybe it wasn’t a case of using him to make a point about rich people having difficulty with change and with holding on to riches at the expense of anything else that might be possible. It might have been more that Jesus saw what he could do, wanted him personally by his side and under his tutelage with those same talents and intelligence he used to obtain riches to be used for the Kingdom. I know the call of Jesus and the Kingdom is the first call.

I can blame almost anything as to my reasons for holding back. Anything for some could include prayer if I believe that I am entering that relationship through a narrow gate, and therefore I have the feeling of having to get it right, and while getting through that narrow gate might be an adventurous challenge, I am not up for it right now with all my difficulties and pain.

Then I am hoping to find the right way to pray and I don’t anticipate the change happening until I find the right or better way to pray, the right words, to get me that special change, like finding the right combination of numbers to win the lottery with. Until I find that special prayer, I’ll hold off on this and any other real changes I’m thinking about, since I’m not deserving of this until I get that special prayer. I’m not searching for God’s continued presence, but the right words to speak with, to get a deal with. If I am going to do this, I should get a thesaurus and this way I can practice with other words. I can’t come knocking on God’s door until I find those words and there are no deals I believe until I find those words. If I can’t find the words, I can still find Him. What I can do though is experiment with the wording. For example, if I say, God I want to take a fantastic trip, I could change the words and say I want a wonderful trip but I could also change it to I want a wonderful excursion changing both the adjective and noun in really saying the same thing. Once I am on the river of prayer, I’m flowing with it even if my initial prayer efforts are rather rudimentary. In his vastness, I would assume God understands every language of the earth and every language of the heart of those that seek him. In the Bible, it says that God lets his vast sun shine on both the just and unjust, and He might still have some good things in the works even if you don’t have your act going well, if your heart is turned towards him and his gigantic measures. God has some deals going for those who don’t deserve them and for those who do deserve them but believe that they don’t.

As I consider changes, I can think, what if everything would go well, what would I want first? For example, if both sweeping the floor went well for me and being a movie star went well for me, then I would probably choose being a movie star first. What would you really like to see go well for yourself or others? If it is going good with choices that are more first in the line, then I might as well go in that direction. I can keep sweeping the floor after all it is going well, but I still more want the movie star position so I will spent more time doing that than sweeping the floor even though both are going well.

And sometimes we have open doors and we close them ourselves. The door for you opens and this is for you and then you close it. It’s like getting a wanted phone call for you, and saying goodbye at the first utterance. An example would be a person looking for a date gets someone’s card for a later call, but they wanted a cart blanch commitment up front, so they closed a possible open door and all the possibilities of what may have been behind this open door. I am looking at an open door or not?

In every opportunity I pass over, I have to go on and I have to go on without this. If I pass up an opportunity for a great conversation, where I could have obtained great wisdom with the exchange, I have to go on without this wisdom and fond memory. The rich man passed up the opportunity to walk with Jesus here on the earth. He went on with his life without Jesus and his personal presence to him. It was as if he saw Jesus from the back of a boat and waved goodbye to him, never to see him again on the earth. Was this a void for him and could anything else he obtained after that replace what could have been. We don’t know for sure what happened to the rich man, did he have second thoughts on his decision and did he find his was back to Jesus later on? Maybe he was like the man in the parable who said he wouldn’t come but did show up later.

God’s answer might be, even if you get those special words, your not deserving, but it is my choice to give this to you despite your not deserving this.

Daniel Chapter 9 verse 3 “Then I turned to the Lord God, to seek an answer by prayer and supplication with fasting, sackcloth and ashes.” Daniel is saying here he is involved in a turning and he is specifically looking for an answer. This turning to God for an answer by analogy would be like turning from darkness to sunlight. The sun lights up the whole sky in its presence, I am facing into a vastness when the sun appears to me.

God doesn’t necessarily gather up points and when you have enough points towards the wanted prize you get it. Truly, the sovereignty of God works right from the beginning and doesn’t suddenly appear now. If indeed God does have plans for your future, he has the pictures as well. This is why God does communicate to us in pictures as well sometimes.

Even so, I can change the words of my prayer as my first dance with change. It might be helpful to me in identifying for me what I am asking for or considering by varying my approach to prayer and I can freely choose and change the words of my prayer at any time. It might be helpful to change the words I use at times just to have that sense of freedom that I can change my words and change within prayer itself. One of the changes I can make sometimes is to back off of my persistent requests for myself a bit and just see where everything settles and more wait on what the Lord does have to say to me about this. But the back off doesn’t have to be permanent either.

I might be considering something with God in prayer. It’s isn’t always an outright asking that I’m involved with. It might be that I am considering something as a possibility, a possible change scenario, and I am not asking for it definitively as I am just not to sure myself. Evidently what I want will be more apparent if and when I ever get there. I am more asking about it as a mater of inquiry, saying I might want this. This is why I might want to make a change in steps. I take the step of going to Greenland and after I reach that step, from there I can decide whether to trek to the North Pole.

For example, I might say to God, I am interested in possibly moving to Virginia, rather than outright asking for help in finding a good house in Virginia. I am considering moving to Virginia as a location I might enjoy and I am passing the idea along to God in prayer without being committed to the idea in advance.

But I’m unworthy I say. I haven’t been able to just bring my unworthy self into prayer. Even if I get the right words, these proposed changes will never fly because, I just don’t deserve it. A prayer begins to be seen like it gives greater exposure to my unworthiness, the unworthiness which is keeping me from change, and therefore I have another reason to hold off on prayer. Or would be changes brings further exposure my deficiencies or even bringing these things into the light of prayer makes me feel deficient because now I see them ever so brightly. What I don’t seem to get, seems to further validate my low opinion of myself. Since I didn’t get this, because God is all knowing, He knew I wasn’t good enough. When I pray, I seem to find the unanswered prayer, and then what does that say about me, this might be just another seeming rejection that stops me cold in my tracks from changing. More and more I don’t know why. My real lack becomes further intensified. I didn’t even get a word or a wink from God, I really must be on the down and out and I might as well just stay there. I told you to forget change. With the unanswered prayer, I am really looking lack in the mirror. Even God is saying I’m no good. I might have had some inkling towards change, but Gods review is the final straw, forget it now.

But this view is erroneous to the vastness of God as well. If I am unworthy since the totality of thoughts about me are not with me but with God, and since his thoughts about anything including me specifically as an individual outnumber every grain of sand on every shore, then whatever my state of worthiness is, God thinking on this is inclusive of this but goes beyond this still because whether I am worthy or unworthy prayer itself exposes me to more, because God already has full exposure on me in His line of sight and in prayer I am speaking into this vastness about me.

But until I find that special prayer, I’ll hold off and this and any other real changes I’m thinking about because I have to get prayer right just like I have to get everything else right like my golf game before proceeding.

Since I am praying, God forbid but I am actually looking for some answers but I can’t quite identify when, where, and how these answers are coming. So I’ll hold off while waiting for the right time and the right answer, when God makes his bold approach, writes it out for me, and gives me the proper signs to go ahead. I want that handwritten notice from God, about the change, so I’ll have it in agreement on paper. Did Jesus hit his disciples over the head with a lightning bolt every time he talked to them? I never think that prayer itself sometimes is an answer, that when praying I am right there in the presence of God and then I can get some peace and presence.

For example, I want to change my vacation share and plans about that. I’ll pray about this and wait for an answer. I might get an answer but not that clarity so I’ll hold off. I only read signs from God at the 5th grade level. Maybe in this case I can get bolder with God, can you answer with extra clarity? Can you give me some extra cheese on this slice of pizza? Or maybe God doesn’t speak my language, I am speaking French and he deals with English only. But I didn’t get a particular sign I could read, and lots of time has gone by and I still have taken a vacation and maybe it was a proper time, a vacation would have done me good as a good change of scenery. It’s a small world after all, or is it?

I delayed my decision way into the future as I was looking for a certain prayer result, while my decision itself would have produced the result in this big wide world I am in.

Then again, prayer began for me to be associated with change or a lack of it and my inability to face it, and therefore with further indecisions on my part and therefore stagnation within, leaks in the smooth approach, breaching change and finally finding myself lacking in several motivations, and somehow I grow less fond of praying because it all seems to be holding me back. Because I didn’t change I missed on maybe my only chance or my best chance and I missed out. My only boat I believe was going by but I didn’t get on it because I was praying. I have a weakening will to do anything more now. In fact I’ll give up looking for another boat and praying another prayer as well.

I don’t have to be so afraid of change because I am moving not within a narrow channel with little margins for error but within the vastness of God through prayer. If I make some mistakes, the wide latitude of the vastness will help me bounce back into the wanted change.

I could have taken my best guess at a vacation spot, taken the trip, and continued to pray, erstwhile continuing to pray about this issue as well and getting another answer about another place and then I could just take another trip, as God provides.

Then prayer itself might begin to be seen an involving a devotion or devoted lifestyle that involves certain predilections and particularities and therefore precludes certain ways of living that still interest me. . I don’t seem to be made up of the right particles for this. But didn’t my uncle say God doesn’t make junk way back then? Yet I stilled all my good plans for myself as they slid off the shelf of what might have been possible in the unseen future and heaped them into a junkyard of regret and unworthiness piled upon shame. Thou shall not-Thou shall not change commandment #?

Or I am already involved on an already well predicted and course, maybe I’m a thief in disguise and I’m relieved of my duties towards prayer because of this sin of commission or this precludes me from praying because I’m am indeed a thief and this idea of prayer doesn’t fit my job description and if I pray I can’t be a thief anymore. I can’t do both or be both and I further deprive myself not of the contents of the safe I intend to crack but the overwhelming presence of a God who still may freely allow me to converse with Him in prayer and what might have been held for me there in the context of that prayer relationship.

God’s followers aren’t supposed to be thieves and this is clear from the commandment, which is thou shall not steal. But there are other things that people might do or not do that doesn’t involve the Ten Commandments as such but they who set the rules seem to think so. And the thief can pray too, God issues wide invitations as he is hosting the party. From the Gospels we see that if you are not going to show up at the door of prayer then Jesus will call others in your place including the prostitutes and thieves on the streets. Don’t ignore that first invitation to prayer and if you are ignoring it, hardening your heart, it is to your own peril.

We know one thief made it to paradise. There are many man made rules that seem to impose on these invitations. But if you’re a thief, don’t plead innocent based on not knowing the commandments, come up with a better argument.

But the converse of this can take place, people plead to God, you didn’t tell me I could have this, you didn’t tell me I could be happy. I thought it would be more pleasing to you to stay where I am. I can stay like this, and you can be my divine shrink, and I can always talk to you about my unhappiness. Why look into things that might make me happy when I always have you Jesus to listen to my problems? What this tells me and you, that people of the faith actually do this, is that when I am in a situation of change and I am trying to understand what course I could take, I might ask God specifically what would please him in this situation or even what might make me happy. Often we are encouraged often somberly to preface our prayers, if it be your will Lord, can I make this change, but I could also similarly preface it, if it pleases you Lord, should I go ahead with this change? Or if you think I’ll enjoy this, should I go ahead with this change or if it is good for everybody concerned should I go ahead with this change. I can preface my prayers in different ways while still seeking God’s guidance and still searching but this time trying to get to a more optimistic view of the proposed change. If I still don’t quite believe for example that God wants me to actually enjoy something, I can test this by prefacing my prayers as to this, God, I think I’ll enjoy it if I get to see the most scenic area on my trip West. Or I’ll think I’ll enjoy it if (fill in the blank). But I can also take another look as to how I might view God’s will. Wouldn’t it be brilliant, like the most brilliant moment of the most brilliant day and didn’t God create Einstein and isn’t He behind every genius of every kind?

I deep down believe that I might skew the prayer relationship, the back and forth dynamics of it, by changing. Not understanding, that prayer is like the sun, which is going to follow me wherever I go. I seem to stay adrift on an island of prayer, not feeling that I need to interact with other facets of this world that God thought I might enjoy. Unless, I am specifically led off this island, I stay there. I really don’t believe that God can lay it all out before me over any possible landscape.

Yet I am called by intercession to pray for this world I am avoiding. And I can pray the prayer of intercession like a king whether I am a king sitting in my palace, Dick Van Dyke on the street corner again drinking his bottle of liquor out of a paper bag to the tune of Yesterday, or if I am own my own little island of my choosing. I can also pray for the smallest concern of the most obscure person. You don’t have to be together with the entire world and all of yourself to be with God. I can pray for others even in the face of my own weaknesses. I don’t however want to be dealing cocaine and praying for the goodness of God’s people.

As my prayer requests become more personalized to me and my own situation, I become more concerned about changing the dynamics. I might be praying and praying and finally begging God for something, and when I finally get my chance for it, I hold off, because it will upset the apple cart as I have already balanced it, the dynamics of my prayer relationship might be upset, because if I get all this, what do I have left to beg God for? So I keep on begging right to the end of time, so I can keep the relationship as is. God seems to recognize me while I’m in this state, if I change He might not know who I am anymore because I believe he needs to have me in this state to identify me. I’m like the blind man who felt so identified with blindness by the village he was in and the blindness he had known for so long and was locked in with his circumstances or at least for him this condition seemed to have forged into a certain path and identity where he was known as the “blind man”. I don’t change then, keeping everything level to the status quo, not realizing that it may have been God that called me to change in the first place, telling me to move my rump in another direction. . And maybe God was the lead author on the proposal at hand anyway.  If I do find myself caught in this drift, I can at least keep my intercessory efforts going, not letting the stagnation of my own personal prayer concerns seep deeply into my brilliant intercessory efforts and the focus I want in order to maintain that. . I can keep the waters of intercession flowing well. What I want to do if need be is leave personal issues unresolved while going into the prayer of intercession. I want to keep going without necessarily having to have full resolution on all issues.

The issues closest to us seem difficult and larger, also further magnified to some degree because they are so close, even though others at a distance are truly in greater difficulty, and in a sense we do pray from them from a safe distance. If I am praying for the soldiers in Iraq from my waterfront home in the Bahamas, I can understand that in some ways they are in a more precarious situation then I am when I can’t find the channel changer for the latest fastest show I have to see and this is my big change I’m facing at the moment at a personal level. .

Prayer seems to keep me from getting the ball rolling on change because I need to pray better first and hear God’s answer better first, and if I’m waiting so long, I might be so disconnected from this idea that the change doesn’t have that initial appeal it once had. There doesn’t seem to be a concept of God being with me through my change and right at the beginning of my change where the change might seem especially daunting and challenging, and only at the arrival point of being finally and fully changed will I meet God and find out then.

On the other hand, Jesus took and held the blind man by the hand led him out of the village. Mark 8.23. He was going to give him his sight, but this would be a big change for him, he might have never seen or hadn’t seen for a very long time, Jesus walked with him into this change, he led him side by side into this change. He knew for this individual at this point in history, that he needed to be led out of a village of unbelief and disbelief to a place that was new and fresh and where he could believe in change. In the village he was the blind man and always was the blind man. Neither he nor they could identify him as anything other than the blind man, otherwise they wouldn’t know who he was anymore.

The blind man was making a radical change or transition towards obtaining his sight. However what was actually happening was He was going from a radical situation of not being able to see in a world that requires sight to the more moderate position of being able to see properly in a visible world. What Jesus was doing for him, by giving him his sight, was bring him to a more moderate position. And this is a very important point that in most cases, even when Jesus brings us into a radical change, it is in actuality a moderating change for our practical life. The blind man was brought from an extreme or radical position of not being able to see to the more moderate position of being able to see his way around. Yes Jesus was bringing him into a radical change, but in actuality He was moderating his life, holding him by the hand, and walking back to a position that would be more moderate to who he was and the world he was in.

I might have a more radical view of problems that causes me to stay stuck. By radicalizing my position, I am making more of something than it really is. A common example might be a person who loses a given job, and thinks they have also lose their native talents and abilities with this. By making more of something that it really is, somehow altering the reality of it, not necessarily making a mountain out of a molehill but tending towards that, I lose the moderating view which would have been otherwise operative. The tendency to radicalize is somewhat rampant in many ways and one example is the all or nothing mentality, and another would be making things so big and looming. This tendency works against change, because if I am going to easily bounce or react into a radical position, I am that much more unwilling to try new and different things.

I can apply a soft touch to change, brushing against it lightly in my own manner of praying, knowing that while I might not be physically blind, I may be in part blindfolded in so many ways to all I could know about the change I am entering into in various ways. Jesus was gentle yet firmly attentive with his approach to the blind man, who was entering the world of sight maybe for the first time and surely uncertain of how these new wanted dynamics would change the way he would interact both with himself and others and the presence of the good Lord who was coming to him now as an individual. Maybe we should be gentle with ourselves as we approach change sometimes realizing in some ways we might be like this blind man in weak areas of our lives and in our difficulties in understanding our own pathways. . Jesus was with this man in the totality of this change, just how He can be with you and me in the totality of the change we hope for in the loving presence of his goodness for us.

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