So how flexible are you? I am not asking if you can bend over and touch your toes, or turn yourself into a human pretzel playing Twister. I am asking about your openness to change.
Physical therapists and workout coaches tell us that flexibility varies between individuals depending on muscle length and other factors.
I admit that I am not overly flexible. That’s why stretching is such a painful thing for me. Neither am I overly fond of change. My conservative, midwest nature likes things to stay the same. For example, I don’t like it when I hear that an old restaurant in my hometown of Springfield, Missouri has remodeled, changed locations, or closed. When I go back to Springfield I want that restaurant to be in the same location and even look the way it did in 1979.
Why do we resist change? In his book, Developing the Leader Within You, John Maxwell offers several reasons including these --
- The change isn’t self-initiated
- Routine is disrupted
- Change creates fear of the unknown
- People are too satisfied with the way things are
While there are times for us to take a stand saying “I shall not be moved,” an attitude of rigidity is not the healthy way to live. Health requires flexibility.
Paul himself demonstrated flexibility. In 2 Corinthians 1 Paul informed the Christians in Corinth that he changed his travel itinerary concerning an upcoming visit. Rather than visiting Corinth on his way to Macedonia, he decided to visit Macedonia first. While some accused him of breaking his word or being indecisive, Paul explained that he just changed his plans for various reasons and would visit Corinth later (which he did).
Don’t be afraid to let the Holy Spirit change your plans. When change is introduced, don’t automatically default to resistance. At best, we see through a glass darkly. James reminds us that none of us know what tomorrow will bring. Life is following the immutable Spirit of God as He leads us through a world of constant change. Those embedded in rigidity will not survive the journey. Stay flexible and enjoy the trip.
Pastor Todd Weston