You Want to Change?
Dear old and new friends,
If you believe as you pray, “Our Father who art in heaven,” then last week’s reflection regarding God and Christ making their dwelling within you won’t have created any change in how you pray or relate to God. This is an example of a central law of life:
Unless we change the way we think, we will not change the way we act.
This is a fundamental law for not only personal change but also global. Franciscan theologian Ilia Delio says we must make loving the basic element in any change. If our desire is to change anything negative about our behavior, the place to begin isn’t with our behavior but our thoughts. And our minds likely are crowded with thoughts and ways of thinking that need to change, so let’s explore a few.
Regardless of having seen that historic NASA photo of our earth floating in space, and the intellectual knowledge we live on a round planet, we continue to think, speak and act as if we lived on a horizontal flat earth. Since we think in “flat earth” terms daily we use expressions like “sunrise” and “sunset.” In reality, of course, our daystar the sun does not set or rise. But you object; what difference does it make if we rely on some old ancient terms? First, it’s not reality; secondly, it imprisons the concept of who we are. In reality, as evident in that NASA photo of earth, we live as a global, tribal community on an earth without borders. The consequences of this are awesome.
Let’s consider another common experience. If you easily get angry when caught in traffic delaying jams or by rude drivers who cut in front of you, re-think: “Traffic flow often does not match my desires, and the highway can be the playground of the immature. Drive with patience and constant care.”
If you become irritated by glitches in your computer or another device, rethink: “Technology is still in its infant stage; sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Be patient with it as with a child.”
If you are frustrated that you aren’t as good at prayer as you desire, rethink: “Prayer is as easy as a conversation with a good friend; just let your heart talk and listen more than you speak.”
Whatever you desire to change in yourself, examine what your limiting thoughts are about it…and then exchange those with loving and affirming thoughts.
Lloyd George was British Prime Minister from 1916 to 1922. He served in that critical position during the harsh difficulties of World War I and a national economic crisis, while dealing with the Irish liberation Sinn Fein movement and other problems. When he was asked how he always remained so cheerful and pleasant, he replied, “I find a change in nuisances is as good as a vacation.” Any annoyance or bother is a nuisance, so a change in how you see them liberates you like being on a vacation.