Monday, December 18, 2006

Keep the Change

There is a certain amount of irrational behavior that occurs in girls starting at about age 11. Notice that I did not say, "from age 11-24," or, "from age 11-38," because I'm pretty sure that once a woman has passed the threshold of irrational behavior, they can never go back. This is not to say that every woman is irrational all the time. However, I think it would be safe to say that occasional estrogen induced irrationality is not an uncommon occurrence starting from about middle school on. My first "irrational experience" occurred when I was 11. My dad has just sold his company and my mom had been given the dreaded job of telling me that we were moving. Now, to understand my reaction, you must know that I hated change with a passion, which was evidenced by the “101 Dalmatians” decals stuck to the wall of my pre-teen room.

"We can't move!" I screamed. “We have lived in that house my entire life! All my friends are there!" I don't particularly remember my mom's reaction, but I do remember grabbing the door handle and threatening to jump out of our white and gold mini-van. It was my first try at an ultimatum. Mom says we're not moving, and she keeps her little girl. Mom says we are moving, and I jump out of a moving vehicle. Makes perfect sense, right? Needless to say, I did not jump out, but not because my ultimatum worked. Apparently you can still use child safety locks on pre-teens, even though they are not children and have it all figured out.

We moved. I hated my life for about 6 months, and then I began to realize that my parents really did know a thing or two about making good decisions. However, even though the course of my life was greatly improved by this change, I still find myself, at the age of 24, driving by the house I grew up in. You can't blame me, though, because I come by this change phobia quite naturally. You see, my Dad doesn't like change either. In fact, he had a similar reaction when his parents moved into a new house after he had graduated from college. He said to his mom, "you're selling my house!?!" OK, so it was no where near my reaction, but he was still upset. It’s not that we don’t like moving onto new and better things; I think it’s just that we treasure each moment of life and respect the fact that every experience has made us who we are. We don’t ever want to forget where we came from.

My dad has come a long way since his days of High School Band President (yes, that's right...President of the Band-Joes). And even though he has achieved a tremendous amount in the eyes of the world since his humble beginnings in Lubbock, TX, he has never forgotten where he came from. He still likes to eat fried squash and meatloaf. He’ll always cheer for the Red Raiders and eat too many funnel cakes and hotdogs at basketball games. He’ll always shine his own shoes and bargain with the salesman on any major purchase. He’ll always listen to ELO, the Beatles and Elton John way too loud in the car and have a deep respect for a good marching band. He'll always part his hair on the left and tuck in all his shirts...even t-shirts. He’ll always love baseball and Nolan Ryan. In fact, the only thing that’s changed about my dad in the area of sports in the past 35 years is his love for the Cowboys (but I think he will always secretly love them). He’ll always take the time to tell people he’s proud of them and to give of his time and money. He’ll always put his family first. He’ll always love the Lord and seek Him with all his heart, and he’ll do that not because he dislikes change, but because he feels the need to cling to his convictions.

We serve an unchanging God, one who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. However, we also serve a God who desires change. Ironic, isn’t it? A never-changing, change-orchestrating God. So, how does a man, who has a deep dislike of change, worship this life-changing God? Trust. He trusts the Lord completely. Unlike my 11-year-old self, my dad trusts that the Lord works for the good of those who love him. And that faith in the Lord, that unchanging, unrelenting faith, has changed him forever.