Raise your hand if you like change? Yeah, change can be tough but staying stuck is worse! There are times in our lives when God grabs our attention and alerts us that it is time for change! It can be the most random things too. Yesterday, I broke my electric shaver and was annoyed that I had to buy a new one. I was already testy because I have a newborn daughter (1 week old). So, you can imagine sleep is a distant cousin. Anyway, I was in a hurry to shave because I now have less time in general and I really did not want to waste time going to the store to by a new shaver.
I went to the local convenience store to buy the same exact shaver and I heard God tell me to buy the more expensive shaver. Let me clarify, I did not hear God's voice verbally but God speaks to me in terms of instincts and thoughts. In the past, I have come to trust those divine nudges and, likewise, learned to regret when I have not. Back to the point, I bought the most expensive shaver against my better judgment and it has been GREAT! Not only do I get a better shave but a faster shave. I shaved in like three minutes this morning. Now, I wake up looking forward to shaving! I look better, shave faster and have more time. The sad truth is, however, that my shaver has been less than average for about six months and I have failed to replace it because it was not totally broken. Have you even known that you needed to change but you weren't quite broken enough to change?
What's the lesson? It's simple. Pain proceeds growth. God knew I needed to be more efficient with my time now that the family has expanded along with my mental health ministry calling. However, he knows Alduan and knows that I tend to move faster when I am uncomfortable, in pain or in trouble (Say Amen)! So, I have learned to simply listen, find the lesson in the temporary pain and move! What does this have to do with you? I want you to see that pain proceeds progress in your life too! Here is a formula that my spiritual leader, Dr. Dale Bronner, shared with me in church that I know will benefit you greatly and accelerate your own ability to handle growing pains!
The Four D's of Growth
1) Declaration- In order to grow, we have to all declare that we actually want to grow. Please notice that I did say make excuses, blame others or remain helpless. Simply declare, Lord, I declare I want ______________ in my life.
2) Distress- You can rest assured that after you declare growth in a particular area of your life that distress will soon follow! As soon as you declare that you want to attend college or pursue your own business, your hot water heater, air conditioning, car transmission, and/or child will need money for something that you did not budget and complicates your goal. This is part of the process. Don't quit. Keep reading.
3) Development- It's funny but the only way to develop often times is to endure distress. Look at this way, if you wish to grow stronger physically, the process is simple. You must first declare that you want to be stronger, bigger and faster. Second, you purposely put your body under distress to tear down previous muscle and replace it with bigger muscle. This feels horrible and can make you feel worse than you did before! However, over time, you will develop stronger muscles. See, the previous edition of yourself had to be torn up in order for the more powerful you to be constructed in its place!
4) Doing/Demonstration- This is when your skills have developed to the point where you can actually do what it is that you declared initially. How cool is that? See, distress part of the process all along. Remember, even Jesus agonized in the garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:32-42). If God didn't spare His one and only son from distress then can we expect any different. However, we all know the end result of Jesus's suffering and can take solace in that there is a divine purpose and greater good for our pain as well.
Final lesson, learn how to become an inverse paranoid (term borrowed from Jack Canfield) and think as if the universe is conspiring for your greatness versus downfall! Use change, pain and discomfort to adjust your mindset into one that accepts and even embraces the process of pain as a bridge to your biggest dreams. After all, your the one who declared that you wanted more out of life (smile). God Bless!