I came across the following quote recently:
“You are the way you are because that’s the way you want to be.
If you really wanted to be different, you would be in the process of changing right now.”
– Fred Smith
When I heard it, all I could think was, “OUCH!” There are many things I’ve wanted to change about myself or about the way my family functions, but I have not. Excuses come easy to a tired mind.
It got me thinking, do I want to come to the end of my life and have only achieved that which happened to me by accident? Of course the answer to that is a resounding, “No!” It is so common to be pulled along by the tides of life, doing what is necessary, but never really doing that which is good or beneficial. Sure, some of the necessary is good, but what about those things that truly matter? The things that have eternal value? The things that can be so easily pushed aside because of more pressing concerns? Things like daily Bible reading, prayer, exercise, teaching the kids about God, or teaching them life skills.
If we want to be more than what life throws our way, we need to live intentionally. We need to live with purpose.
Change is hard. If you’ve ever tried it, you know that.
As a kid I made the same new year’s resolution every year: to keep my bedroom clean. The punishment for not keeping it clean was to eat a plate of peas. I hated peas. But you know what, my room clean was never clean for more than a week. And I never ate the plate of peas. It is hard to impose rules on ourselves. But if we really want to be different, we have to.
Last night I had a bit of a stomp-my-foot, hand-on-hip moment. Mostly at myself. I felt crabby with the fact that I had so many areas to work on. But it’s OK. These areas CAN be worked on. They key is, they will not change unless I do something. If I want to succeed in creating a peaceful home, I must put the work in. If I want my children to grow up to be God-fearing, hard-working individuals, I must put the work in. No one can do it for me. And it takes a whole lot more than wishing.
I want to get to the end of my life and look back to see that I did the best I could. All the things that steal my time and energy won’t matter in the end. By what I did with my children will matter. How I nurtured my relationship with my husband will matter. How I treated God’s people will matter.
You’ve heard the saying, ““If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got.” If we don’t want to be the way we are, then we have to do something different. As Albert Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Well, people may call me crazy, but hopefully not for that reason.
I've decided to make a plan of attack. To dream about what I would like my family to become, and write down the steps it will take to get there. Then TAKE ACTION!
If you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go and eat a plate of peas 🙂
*The pictures in this post were drawn by my 8 year old daughter after we talked a little about changing.