How open are we to the changes that matter the most l Worship

By Rev. Dr. John Beck, Pointe of Grace Lutheran Church | Feb 14, 2018

When I was younger I remember thinking that learning key concepts, approaches, and even strategies, was part of how I grew and matured.

These days, as I get older, I really don’t like the idea of continuing to learn “stuff.”

The idea of life-long learning is not in dispute as an idea.  However, if this learning implies that I need to do something differently, or adjust my lifestyle and habits, I can bristle.

But change is normal and sometimes necessary.  We also know that humans tend to make poor choices in many areas of life.

For example, the growing rates of obesity in both adults and children in the U.S. suggest willpower has limited impact when it comes to certain behaviors.

That is why a low-key rendering of the last 50 years of sound behavioral/scientific research on human behavior has gotten my attention.

I won’t bore you with a book review, but “Think Small” by Owain Service and Rory Gallagher is a worthy read.

This became particularly evident when our 28-year-old son (currently finishing graduate school to become a high school drama teacher) went through the rigorous work-up at his health center to discover he has lived with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) all his life.

The common self-perception of people who suffer from ADD is best summed up in the title of the classic book that unpacks this complicated syndrome: “You mean I am not lazy, stupid, or crazy?” by Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo.

People who suffer from this syndrome may live for years and decades with a powerful, self-deprecating internal narrative, often unheard by friends and family.

One of the strategies our son is using to bring more organization and accountability to his complicated and challenging life grows directly from the “Think Small” methodology.

I read the book because I liked some of the ideas he was spouting over the last several months.  Wow!

I found myself entering into uncharted territory where I might even use this approach to manage my ballooning weight, or to manage stress differently.

The God of the Hebrew scriptures and of the Christian New Testament does not promise followers of Jesus that life will be a rose garden.

Actually, living the way of sacrificial, self-giving love is both difficult and tremendously rewarding.

But I think God is in favor of growth and maturity, and in that way, I find the unexpected power of thinking small to be good news, perhaps even Gospel.

 

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