Over the holidays we watched a TV series called “love it or list it” – a home renovation show about people who no longer enjoy their homes and want to move. This reality show follows the renovation of their home, and at the end of the show, the family are shown other homes to buy in their area and have to choose whether to move or stay in their newly renovated home. Most people choose to stay. They actually love their home, love their suburb but just couldn’t bring themselves to renovate or recreate their home into what they want – either they don’t know how, or they can’t face the effort or the mess, yet when they are “surprised” with the big reveal of someone else having done the work for them, they stay!!
It certainly got us chatting about our endless renovations, especially in our Hillcrest home – whew, if those walls could talk!
I think this is often the issue with our lives as we move into a new year. We are desperate to change things, switch things up in our lives, perhaps in our families or marriages. Things have got old, and disciplines no longer work. We’ve fallen behind and found ourselves dissatisfied with our lives in general. Perhaps we are desperate for change but can’t cope with the effort, or don’t have the energy required to do it or to deal with the transition, the “messy in-between space”.
That’s what hurried life and stress produce, a general dissatisfaction, a paralysed state of believing the lie that this is just the way things are, so we settle into a rut of ‘just existing’. A new year often rudely reminds us of this reality as we head back to the “grindstone” for another year.
I listened to Ed Strong minister about old LP records…of how it is one continual revolution, how the needle effortlessly moves from one song to the next with a brief pause in-between. The analogy of one song ending and another beginning. Except if the LP gets scratched or damaged, it then gets stuck and plays the same line of music over and over, unable to transition to the next song. Many seem to get stuck in one song never able to move into the next season of their lives. No wonder we become bored and frustrated; we were never meant to live with just one song.
I trust that you will take the brave step of addressing the “scratch” and take the sometimes messy, always courageous, move to reset your life and let a new song begin. This article doesn’t allow space to explore this fully, but it’s in the acknowledgement, recognising your song is on repeat, that you can find help.
A few thoughts to, hopefully, help you:
1. BE PREPARED TO RESET YOUR RHYTHM
If you keep doing what you have always done, you will have the results you’ve always had. Patterns that you have embraced were perhaps initially effective but now keep you captive. Relook at each pattern critically and address the key areas of your life, write down some new options, dreams… it’s how the renovation begins; it always starts with dreaming.
2. BE PREPARED FOR A BIT OF CHAOS
Change brings a season of transition, and this is almost always characterised by seeming disorder and chaos. Adjustments bring uncertainty and a bit of confusion, which causes you to lean into God in a new way. The key is to keep moving, even if you don’t always understand what God is doing. It is as we come through the transition that a new song can begin. We can’t get the new without being open to change.
3. WALK IN THE GARDEN AGAIN
The garden of Eden was lost to Adam in the fall but restored to us in Jesus Christ. Because of this restoration, we can walk with God again in intimacy and connection that guides our lives. Psalm 23:3 “He refreshes or ‘renovates’ my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” Dare to sit for 10 minutes at the beginning of the day in complete silence. At first, it will feel terrible – even awkward – but I promise, as you keep doing it each day, it will become beautiful. You will begin to notice God’s fingerprints on your busy life. It’s in these times that the quiet voice of God calls us into the bold and unusual, and at times, unclear paths. It’s in these spaces we begin to hear a new song, we begin to transition, we start to renovate!
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