Dr. Henry Cloud, along with Dr. Townsend, wrote a book called “Boundaries.” It is a great lesson on setting boundaries in life that allow us to be what God has called us to be. Often in life we are dictated to, manipulated, and controlled. Learning to live a healthy life is a challenge. We grow up with certain environmental situations that can mold us unknowingly into dysfunctional people. We may never know what God intended for us. I will be leading a LifeGroup soon on Boundaries. We will explore the boundaries necessary in life and how to get there.
I am currently reading another book by Dr. Cloud called “Necessary Endings.” It is geared primarily to the corporate world, but the backdrop for the book is the Book of Ecclesiastes. There is a time and season for all things.
We all hate to end things. We often hang on way too long. We don’t change a job that we are bored with and dream of what we want, but never go after it. We keep trying to hang on to relationships and friends, all the while, we are growing away from them. People hang on to businesses that are failing too long. The same principle holds true in human relationships. Everyone of us has struggled with making changes. We hate to let go of the past and the present. Sometimes we just have to come to the “moment.” The moment that we quit trying to salvage it, quit trying to fix it, quit trying to dig around the bush again and fertilize it.
In church, I have had to learn that the gospel remains, but our programs are expendable. We should not and cannot be married to a program, a ministry, a way of doing church. Every so often, we have to take a serious look at everything we are doing and ask some hard questions. Is it working? Is it healthy? Is it contributing to the vision? Is it really Christian? Are we adding to the kingdom of God or just entertaining people?
People, we, do not like change. 60% of people do not like change. Some can take it if it is slow. Only 5% of people like rapid change. That is how traditions get started and no one knows why after 20 years.
A good indicator of change coming is the constant discomfort and ill ease you experience when facing the same situation. God often uses the discomfort to force us to deal with a problem and get it fixed, or He uses it to make us end something that is damaging and hindering us from moving forward with Him.
Now, I am not writing to end marriages etc. But marriage has its seasons. There is the ending of certain seasons and life together has to be redefined. I know, just being a young couple is one season, but when baby comes along, it changes the season dramatically. The way the husband and wife relate changes. Empty nest changes the seasons. Sickness can change the season. Extra people in the house can change the season. Elderly parents in the home changes the season. There has to be a necessary end to one season and the beginning of a new season with fresh direction and companionship. Death of a spouse changes the season drastically.
I have found that adaptability is a necessary commodity for human health. Life is messy. It changes constantly. I look back and the world that I grew up in does not exist. To hold on nostalgically to the past is a ticket to irrelevance. There is a day of necessary endings to behold and enjoy the future.