When a pattern is engrained in life, boy is it hard to break! No matter how convincing the facts are, even with overwhelming evidence, I still long for what was. My mind wants a new course, yet my body longs for everything old. I used to worry that I was one of the few that struggled with this but then the evidence to the contrary became overwhelming. Politicians struggle to convey legitimate changes in the course of their beliefs while playing the latest survey whim to the maximum. Sports figures know what image is everything, chasing the dollars while toying with personal and professional disaster. Even those representing moral and ethical values struggle to live the very priorities they have committed themselves to represent.
John talks about people I know well in his vision. The traders and merchants were alive and well. We give everyone an opportunity to leave their wealth at our feet, suspending judgment and choices while pursuing unwritten goals and obsessions. No course change is possible when everything collapses. “The traders who made millions off her kept their distance for fear of getting burned, and cried and carried on all the more.” (Revelation 18.15) When I look at my life I find that, just like John’s traders, I am locked into patterns that emerged from my choices of yesterday. Even when my head takes on different values, new life choices, and prioritized commitments, more often than not nothing changes.
Life doesn’t have to be locked into yesterday’s choices. Course changes are possible, but never alone. It is virtually impossible to make a course change through sheer discipline or courage. With every fiber of our being committed we can accomplish miracles, yet even they will not last without something more.
God offers us something mysterious and yet not fully known – peace, satisfaction, and purpose. The mystery deepens further when the instruction to change is just to “be”. Walk in an attitude of prayer and the course change happens. Journey with God and everything is possible. How can something so easy be so hard?