Friday, November 15, 2013

Feeling awkward

Haircuts always bring a change

Nine times out of ten, when I ask you that question, you say to me that you don't like change.   That helps, but honestly, we don't like change because it wrecks us.  

Why?

Change causes transformation, we have to let go of a little, our familiar places, maybe places that need healing or growth, and that feels awkward.

It feels awkward because we don't like to let God in to do His work.  It feels different and strange in the middle of the conflict, the tension, the problem, and change.

I don't like feeling awkward either.  Lately, I have been making a lot of changes.

Most of my recent changes have felt very awkward, but right.

I walked into get a haircut the other day, needless to say I almost talked myself out of it.  Maybe, this winter I want to let my hair grow out a little.  I have this inner hairy conflict every time my hair grows to the nape of my neck.  What I need is a more time-saving hairdo where I can just gel up and go.  But I don't like to make time for the actual appointment.  The haircut process was easy this time, I checked in online, saving myself a few minutes of waiting.

As I walked in, it was time for my appointment and the stylist asked what I wanted.  I told him how my hair had grown over the last I don't know how many months, the style I used to have and described the look I liked.  He nodded, visualized my new hair style in his head, then went to snipping my hair.

Don't you love it when hair falls and tickles your nose?  Awkward....

Think about how many times the stylist deals with change.  Every time he puts scissors in his hand, he creates change for someone.  And I would dare to say a little change for himself.  Every artist knows when you pick up the tools to create, transformation happens.

Haircuts are good, even though I don't like to make time for them.  The cutting process brings a new fresh look and stimulates more growth.  So as the stylist is snipping away at my outgrown style, I'm asking God to teach me something while I am sitting in the chair, unable to brush off the awkwardness of change in that moment.  

God's changes are good, even though we don't like to make time for them.  Transformation brings a new fresh attitude and stimulates more faith growth.  And change is hard for me, and honestly it's hard for you too.  It makes us feel uncomfortable and weird.  

I'm learning to love changes that cause us to grow in our faith and to discover things we didn't already know or at least realize about ourselves, our situations and circumstances and especially about God!  It's silly to think about how our resistance quickly becomes more about our comfort and safety zones.  

We often don't see the need for change until we are out of options, at the end of ourselves and our current situation feels more like death.  Changes with my hair or with my faith always feel a little awkward for me too.

There is a tension that rises while in the barber's chair as you see locks of hair fall.  Depending on whether you like the new look, will you be able to handle the new you?  That's why I go with what I know.  I very rarely go all crazy with a trendy cut.  Let's say there has been that one haircut, that... well, let's just say it didn't turn out so well.  

Because of one awkward change we tend to avoid it all together.    

I can't handle a lot of change all at once either.  I have to let the stylist trim a little at a time.  Still I resist making time for it and try to talk myself out of a haircut most days.  Again there is the tension that when the stylist is done with your new do, I will be able to manage it and look good in it?

AND getting your haircut can be risky too, especially if you walk-in on a stylist having a bad day. We are at the mercy of person's skill level of who ever our stylist is, whether they love their jobs or hate it on any certain day, and who they fought with before they punched the time clock this morning.

Change is risky when you don't trust the operator.

Fortunately, when we think about change in regards to our faith, we can trust our Operator, our Manager, our Controller and our God who wants nothing but the best for us and wants change to grow us from the inside out.  Knowing this brings peace, but at first I will have to admit, yes change for me, is more about feeling awkward.

We don't like to take time to ask the Craftsman where we need to change, because we tend to stray down a path that makes us crave the comfortable and familiar, the safe ways of faith with predicted results, the known and well-worn ways we Christians tend to fall prey to.  And fear keeps us bound up to think we can't change, don't need to change, or even think about change. So much tension, conflict, and turmoil. 

God's best in the change quickly becomes the sacrifice we put to the side for fear of change. Ugh!

All because doing new things scares us and makes us feel awkward.

So there you have it....out loud.  

Fear keeps us from changing and striking out and saying yes to change, saying yes to God.
Fear keeps us from obeying God.
Fear keeps us from doing what God has asked us to do.  
Fear keeps us out of that mindset that I don't need to change, I'm fine the way I am.  
Fear keeps us from rearranging our daily schedule to help someone who needs our help.
Fear keeps us from going on mission trips.
Fear keeps us from looking outside ourselves and finding out who our neighbors really are.
Fear keeps us safe in our own little Christian bubble.
Fear keeps us feeling awkward when we make bold faith steps.
Fear keeps us from changing.
Fear keeps us.

Man....all these thoughts just from a haircut.  Now...this feels awkward.  

Take some time today to ask God where you need to change to be His best.  Believe me, He cares more about who you are becoming than about your feeling awkward.  

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