Discussion: Change vs Transformation
March 19, 2021
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” The Art of War, Sun Tzu.
Your mind can be your biggest cheerleader or your worst enemy. Usually, when we talk of battles, specifically personal battles, we reference things outside of ourselves. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is” doesn’t seem to apply to us. Our refusal of not recognizing the private battles raging in our hearts and the subsequent productive or negative thoughts we hide within ourselves leaves us not knowing who we truly are. I want to rephrase the first paragraph, “If you know your thoughts and your heart, you need not fear the results of your life. If you know your heart, but stay unaware of your thoughts, for every step forward you will fall backwards two steps. If you know neither your heart, nor aware of your thoughts, you will surrender in every battle.
Spring is less than a week away and we look at the trees changing and hear the birds singing. We are a year into this world pandemic. We’ve talk of life going back to normal. Realizing what was normal will not be normal again. Life is ushering newness. Multitudes will adapt and multitudes will not. Those that will not will try to maintain the ways of the past. Today, I wish to discuss an approach to a new way of living.
The dictionary defines Change: as to make different, alter or modify, replace with something else, making or becoming different. The dictionary defines Transformation: as a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance. When we change, it seems to be a decision that we form that shows outwardly. It typically expresses our thought life. The only concern about change is we can waver in our thought life and reach back to the way things were.
Transformation embraces not solely our thoughts but our heart. The best way I can think of describing transformation is to consider the butterfly. Within its protective casing, the caterpillar radically transforms its body, emerging as a butterfly or moth. There is a story of how one day a man discovered a cocoon. He saw the small opening and observed the butterfly struggling to emerge. His thought was that he would help the butterfly. The man cut the cocoon and watched the butterfly move out easily. As he observed the butterfly he waited for the wings to spread and for it to take flight. This didn’t happen. The man didn’t understand the butterfly needed the struggle. Struggle, which would reinforce the butterfly’s life journey. What he didn’t know that during the struggle, a fluid would be released that would strengthen the wings. The wings would become strong and rigid, enabling the butterfly to take flight and move into its next phase. Instead the butterfly came out with tiny wings and a swollen body destined to crawl for the rest of its lifespan.
Breathe, glance back over your life since last year this time. Does your life mirror what you want to see?
We should appreciate the moral of this transformation as the struggles that we have in life strengthen us (never to consume us). Struggles teaches us to stand up on our own feet. We learn to accept responsibility for our lives and stop blaming others for not being there for us. I understand the saying, “No man is an island and No man stands alone” and a favorite that I believe in “It takes a village”. But, I have to first understand myself. I need to know who I am, my depths and shortcomings.
When you change, you can find yourself reaching back for the familiar. With transformation, there’s nothing to go back to. When the butterfly escapes his cocoon, it can never go back. We are encountering a new period in our world. For those accepting the new norm, we suggest you have two (2) choices. We can choose Change or we can have Transformation. Regardless of which you choose, they are personal decisions.
“If you know your thoughts and your heart, you need not fear the results of your life. If you know your heart, but stay unaware of your thoughts, for every step forward you will fall backwards two steps. If you know neither your heart nor aware of your thoughts, you will surrender in every battle.”
Thank you for joining me for Friday at Sundown. Remember… Just Breathe!
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Romans 12:2 ESV Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
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