Saturday, August 19, 2017

Caregiver Chronicles: Choosing Familiar and Rejecting Change



Sam and I had a big day yesterday. Helen Singh, one of our missionaries in India, is here for a few weeks. She'd offered to cook a traditional Indian curry for our Home Office staff. She's an impressive woman and I wanted a chance to spend a little time with her, so I planned to go.

The only problem was no sitter for Sam. Since God hadn't sent someone to help, I decided to take Sam with me. He loves going and he loves being around people, so I thought it would be the perfect outing. 

It was. Sorta.

Helen warned us the curry was spicy, so Sam said, "Don't you put much on my plate. I'm not eating spicy food." Helen was right. (It was spicy but delicious.) Sam was right, too. He ate one bite.

"How about some chocolate cake, Sam?" He loves chocolate cake, so I felt sure he'd eat it. I gave him a big piece. It turns out he loves Jamie's chocolate cake. Not all chocolate cake. (Jamie is Sam's now-deceased wife.) 

I was truly surprised when he said, "I'll just eat when we get back home." What he really wanted was pureed roast, mashed potatoes, peas, and Ensure. 

Sam said he wanted to try something new but, when confronted with new, what he actually wanted was something familiar.

If we're honest, most of us, when encountering something new that's not entirely comfortable, will want to rush back to the familiar. All too often, that's exactly what we do.

The problem with chasing the familiar instead of embracing the adventure comes when the adventure is God-sent. 

Whether it's a new job, a new home, a new routine, or a new baby in the family, change is unsettling. Sometimes, it's downright hard. If we equate familiar with easy, it's no wonder we want to reject hard to get the easy again.

When Jesus called us to follow Him, He didn't say one word about easy. Or about familiar. What He said was, in this world we'll have trouble, but He's already overcome all the trouble we'll ever have, so hang on, take heart, and keep going. (That's the Leanna paraphrase)

Someone asked me my requirements as a speaker recently and I gave him this answer. "My only requirement is certainty that God's called me to it." If we know the "new" we've encountered is God's will, we can be sure He'll go with us through it and bring us out on the other side. Even if that "new" is hard, we can also be sure it'll be worth it in the end.

We have the opportunity to do the same old things in the same old way and get the same old results. We can stay stuck in the familiar or invite God to give us a new adventure of faith. Which will we choose? Same old same old or something new?

I choose the adventure of God and love this ever-changing life He's given me.

Sam and I learned a month ago that life can change in an instant. One minute he was in his home of 60 years and the next he was living with me in the "big house." One minute I lived alone and the next I was caring for an elderly hospice patient in my home. 

The change was new and different and hard. It was also God-ordained and He's right in the middle of it with us. He's carrying us through and we both agree on one thing. It's worth it.

What God-adventure has He placed in your path? Why not embrace it and allow God to do something new in you and through you. It might not be comfortable, but it'll be worth it.

"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." John 16:33 nasb
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In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: The Sale Tops and the Power of Leftover Grain

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