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And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.(Romans 12:2 NASB)
Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes
The quote was scrolling across the TV screen while the leader talked. I immediately started thinking about the truth behind those words. It was one week before the beginning of the new school year and I knew it was time to start putting to practice some of the changes that I had committed to make during the summer.
Well, let me rephrase it: It was time to start implementing some of the changes that God instructed me to make.
Leave it to me, and I will keep on doing things as I’ve always done. An innate Martha, my fleshly tendency is to do… always a lot.
And I know I’m not alone.
A quick look around our society (and even our churches) and it’s easy to see that we are breeding more Martha’s than Mary’s these days.
…We often confuse love for God as service for the Kingdom.
…We mistakenly confuse great education with one more extra-curricular activities for our children.
…We often find our lips saying yes before praying about whether to add one more responsibility to our plate.
Unfortunately, this lack of pause invariably affects every area of one’s life.
In an age where simplicity is mistaken by lack of success, the world applauds when we step up and lead the charge. In the meantime, marriages suffer because spouses are so involved in working and serving others, that they don’t have time to nurture the most important relationship in their lives.
Children are pressured to do more than their small bodies can handle, and we, their parents, often feed the trend and inadvertently whisper to their hearts that more is always better.
And there could not be anything farther from the truth.
The truth is this:
Because the busier we are, the less time we have to be still and consequently KNOW God (Psalm 46:10) and His perfect will for our lives.
A True Summer BREAK
In the beginning of this summer, I found myself tired of the mess, running around, unhealthy meals and overwhelming loss of joy in my life. My body, mind and spirit were hurting. My soul was malnourished and I knew it was time to renew my mind and refashion my agenda.
That’s when God started working in my heart, convicting me that it was time to review my habits and commitments, rethink and reshape my family’s schedule.
I started by reorganizing my days, and delegating more tasks to my children.
As I committed to take better care of myself, I found a new love for walking daily and eating fresher, healthier meals. I decided to stop using the excuse of not having 30 minutes to take care of ME.
Going against everything I’ve ever known, I even blocked an afternoon to rest. Now that was a new one!
And most importantly, I started telling myself that it was ok to miss an event or two.
Nothing changes if nothing changes.
The quote is not mine, but its simplicity rings in my soul as the truth behind my newfound direction and renewed sense of peace.
It wasn’t easy, but I had to sit down and rethink my routines again and deliberately change my ways.
If you can relate to my story today, I invite you to start by accepting the truth behind Paul’s words to the Romans in the beginning of chapter 12.
Stop accepting the ways of the world as your fashion plate. More is not necessarily better. Rather, ask God to show you what His will is for your days.
And keep this in mind: His will does not involve chaos, senseless stress and fear.
His will is Peace and Order.
For God is not a God of disorder but of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33a – NLT)
The biggest challenge of this day and age is to pull back from the rat race long enough to be able to hear God’s voice. But unless we choose to be still, and reevaluate our routines with an open heart and mind, we will never be able to “discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Hebrews 12:2)
Nothing will change, unless we change. We must dare to say NO to chaos and senseless busyness, and embrace God’s timing and direction for our lives.