“Then she (Naomi) arose with her daughters-in-law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab, how that the Lord had visited His people in giving them bread. Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah.”
Ruth 1: 6,7
King James Version
“Choosing To Change”
“Change is the constant, the signal for rebirth.”
What is there in my life that I know I should change but instead I hold back because I’m stuck with what I feel comfortable doing?
“People avoid change until the pain of remaining the same is greater than the pain of changing.”
“The need for change bulldozed a road down the center of my mind.”
I can relate to these words penned by the famed poet Maya Angelou. About fifteen years ago, Jim and I found ourselves stuck in a rut – a deep rut. For years we’d been on the road, working night and day – pushing the limits of our physical and emotional health; burning the candle at both ends and in the middle, as well. Finally, one day, it was as though everything came to a head. I’ll never forget where we were. We’d just hauled our suitcases up to our motel room and had begun to unpack. It was our 5th appointment in the week and we had four more clients to see in the upcoming days. As we flopped down on the motel bed, too exhausted to move, Jim said, “We can’t continue to live like this.” “I know,” I immediately responded. “But how can we change what we’re doing,” I asked? “I’m not sure,” Jim replied. “However, we just have to take the first step and change one thing at a time.”
To this day, we still call it our “San Jose Moment,” for this is the city we were in when a bulldozer charged through our heads and made a pathway to change.
Author Peg Wood calls change, “Rut prevention.” And this is exactly what Jim and I desperately needed at that moment, for we had dug ourselves into a rut so deep it seemed absolutely impossible to climb out by ourselves.
At that time in our lives, to reject change, would have been to reject life itself. As Harold Wilson penned “(She) who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is a cemetery.”
The problem with change is that it isn’t convenient. It isn’t easy. It isn’t simple. Sometimes it means giving up long-held cherished ideas: sometimes it means leaving things we’re comfortable with behind; and sometimes it even means that we recognize the detrimental effect some individuals have on our lives.
Our text for today sets the stage for the change, that turned Naomi’s life upside-down, and served as the catalyst for her new life.
There are several key elements in these two verses in Ruth that are critical to how you and I go about making changes in our own lives.
First of all, Elimelech made a change in his family’s lives when he moved them from Bethlehem to Moab. But as author Margaret Atwood observed in her book, The Handmaid’s Tale, “Better never means better for everyone.” I’ll add the same sentiment goes for change. Change, just for the sake of change, doesn’t necessarily make things better for everyone, either. Change isn’t some virtue to be craved as though, on its own, it can solve all our problems.
Instead, it would do us well to look closely at the motivating factors behind the changes we make in our lives.
Tomorrow, we will explore what it was that gave Naomi the confidence and determination to, as a single woman, embark on a journey of change that would not only seem too big for a woman, but impossible for anyone to carry out.
Let us never find ourselves becoming, as one author so descriptively described, “Little (women) with little minds and little imaginations who go through life in little ruts, smugly resisting all changes which would jar their little worlds.” For one day, God may come to you with a calling for change that is so big and wonderful, and I, for one, don’t want to be so set in my own ways and little in my thinking that I completely ignore what He has planned for me.
“Lord…make us willing to change.”
“With God’s Help”
“With God’s help, I shall not fear change.
Some changes will cause great pain; others will bring joy.
Some will pass by barely noticed; others will alter the deepest
parts of my being. I will bring about many changes myself;
but changes I experience will also be brought about by others
around me, and I will be the tool God uses to change
With God’s help, I shall accept that change will happen every day, for I am not alone.
God shares the changes with me. God rejoices with me and
comforts me through the difficult days. As the quiet, solid
center that gives me something to cling to, God is the constant
in my quicksilver existence.
With God’s help, I shall embrace it all.
Therefore, I shall not fear change. I shall trust that I can face
all the changes, welcome them all, and be stronger after they
have done their work on me.
I can do all this, with God’s help.”
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, ChristianBook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeets jesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal.
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