Have you heard the saying “don’t just change for the sake of change”? I disagree, sometimes the reason for change should be change itself.
I sat down with one of our pastors yesterday morning as we pondered a new layout for our auditorium and cafe. We got to talking about how people would perceive and react to a visible change in the building, especially something so obvious as seating. We both came to the conclusion that change was a good thing, and here’s why:
1. Change keeps your eyes focussed
It’s amazing how many things in life become routine and habit and (dare I say it) tradition. Without becoming consciously aware of those things they invariably become things we get ‘precious’ about. Funny how so many disagreements in churches started over something like the colour of the carpet, or the order of service. Changing those things every once in a while, for the sake of change, helps us to pick up on those aspects that were becoming ingrained into our culture and allows us to evaluate their purpose and priority.
2. Change keeps your ears attuned
Did you ever just move your bedroom around for the sake of it and then when you lay down on your bed things sounded different to how they used to. Sometimes I think God is trying to say a new thing to us for a new season and if we don’t allow ‘change for the sake of change’ to become a part of our culture then we often let things in life that were, at one time positioned for a good purpose, become sound-proof barriers to what God is trying to speak to us about today.
3. Change keeps your mouth (speech) fresh
Whenever I visit my favorite cafe, or shop or park I find I notice less and less about it. Especially the specific details that I noticed on my first and second visits, like ‘what was the view like’, or ‘what decor did they use’. The less I notice, the less I talk to my friends about those places. Now, those things aren’t important in themselves, but funny how when they change the layout of my favorite cafe, I’m inspired once again to talk about the place with my friends and family. A ‘change for the sake of change’ can often be the catalyst for a renewed sense of inspiration and a desire to share those places/things with others.
4. Change keeps your feet moving.
Do you remember how you drove here, what roads you took, what the weather was like while you were driving, how many red lights you stopped at? Habit and routine, although helpful at times often numb us to the details of the journey. When a system, a place or an organization makes a change you have to re-engage all your faculties to be able to navigate your way though it once again. The act of doing this awakens you to many of the aspects that have dulled over time and yet, were at one stage, the things you noticed most.
Drive a different way to work. Leave at a different time. Make a different meal. Visit a different shopping centre. Sing a different song. Read a different translation (ooh..). Study a different book. Say hello to someone at church you’ve seen before, but never had a conversation with.
God is never stale. Jesus constantly surprised his followers. One of the hardest things the pharisees found about Jesus was that he was so unpredictable, at least according to their established systems. Maybe he wasn’t so unpredictable, maybe he just knew that changing for the sake of change would open people’s eyes, unblock their ears, get them speaking about something new and get their feet moving….to follow him.