Wednesday, August 12, 2020

A Time for Transformation

Be Transformed By the Renewing of Your Mind.

Transformed. Changed. 

Last week I outlined ways the American experience during the COVID-19 pandemic has followed the pattern, the stages of grief, described by Elizabeth Kübler-Ross. If you missed that post, you can find it by clicking HERE. Not everyone responds to these strange times in the same way. We mourn losing the “way things were before.”

Change is the one constant we can actually count on in our lives.The truth is, we are always in a state of change. What has made this change difficult is the suddenness of it all.

There is the fable of putting a frog in a pan of cool water. (Hold on, because this is gross.) According to the tale, if you put a frog in a pan of boiling water it would jump out. But if you put the frog in cool water and very slowly turn up the heat, the frog will adjust to the slow change in temperature, making no attempt to escape. You could cook it alive…or should I say cook it to death.

The point is that we adjust to changes fairly easily when they come in small doses. In fact, we have become complacent about some aspects of our lives simply because the changes were small and therefore didn’t seem to pose a threat to our way of life. I’ll not go into those for this post. I’m sure you can think of many ways the world functions differently than when you were growing up. We all have stories. 

Some change is for the good. Some…well, not so good.

Last week’s post ended on an optimistic note. For Kübler-Ross, the final stage was that breathe deep moment of acceptance. It is a healthy and appropriate place for a person facing death to reach. But for us in this pandemic arena, bombarded with political craziness, and coupled with a greater awakening to the systemic racism that plagues our nation, I applauded the efforts of people and groups who are beyond accepting. They are embracingchange as an opportunity to “make things better.”

I’m one of those people who reads my Bible every morning. Yep, even the hard parts. In the book Paul wrote to the Romans, he says in chapter twelve, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

Transformed. Changed.

Not by events beyond our control. Not by a virus. Not by any one person or any one thing. Be transformed by renewing of the mind. The way we think. Change as a deliberate choice; A deliberate change in direction from the chaos of the world to a place of acceptance and even embracing what is to come.
How do we accomplish that?

·      Deliberately choose to focus on the positive over the negative. 
·      Choose joy over despair. 
·      Make a list of things for which you are grateful.
·      Turn off the television during dinner. Instead focus on the delicious food… or at least the fact you have something to eat.
·      Take this gift of time to take up a new hobby or learn a new skill.

I could go on, but you get the idea. Change your way of thinking into positive actions. In doing so, you’ll be happier and healthier. So will the people around you.

Also, if you have a Bible…or the internet, I recommend reading the whole of chapter twelve in Romans. It is a most interesting read, especially for these uncertain times. Here some highlights:

            “Hate what is evil, cling to what is good.”
            “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
            “Live in harmony with one another.”
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

So what will you do this week to change your mindset?

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