The Cost of a New Life

Change is never easy – never.  It’s simply the nature of change. 

Ironically, even positive change is difficult.

It’s interesting to identify what the trigger(s) was that caused someone to answer the call to change.  Have you ever had a call to change? 

  • Opportunity knocking on your door? 
  • God knocking on the door of your heart? 
  • A call that would require you to overhaul your life? 
  • A realization that if something doesn’t change, you are going to lose yourself?

Sometimes the call to change is about:

  • leaving an abusive relationship
  • walking away from the devastation caused by a life of dependency on alcohol or other drugs
  • deserting the dead end road of a life of crime
  • turning from an uninspired life
  • putting a vacancy sign on the doorknob of a purposeless life.

Like a door-to-door salesman at supper time, the call to change often shows up unexpectedly.

No doubt God’s call to Abram (before his name was changed to Abraham) was as big a surprise as was the announcement decades later that he would be a father at the age of one hundred.  God simply said, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.”

Think about what it cost Abram to make the change God was calling him to.  He gave up his friends.  He left behind his family.  All those things that were familiar to him, he walked away from. 

In the addiction recovery field there is a phrase that is often echoed, “If you’re going to stay clean and sober you have to change people, places and things.”  That is exactly what God asked Abram to do.

As Elijah approached the end of his life, God sent him to find his successor.  Elisha was the chosen one.  Elijah came to Elisha while he was plowing in his field.  Elijah walked across the freshly plowed ground and made clear the purpose of his visit with Elisha.  It was a call to follow; a call to apprentice with Elijah for the purpose of being his replacement when God took him home.  

But it would require Elisha to make a hard perpendicular turn on his life’s path.  Everything about it would be unfamiliar.  The journey would be filled with questions and unknowns.

When Elisha determined he would answer positively the call to change, he decided to make sure he would not be tempted to return to his old life.  He slaughtered his oxen that he’d been plowing with and then burned the plow.  He effectively closed the door behind him as he opened the door in front of him.  It’s an amazing demonstration of the cost of living a new life. 

Peter and his brother Andrew and James and his brother John had a successful fishing business.  Working in the harsh elements of nature was their norm.  Laboring with their hands was all they knew.  But when they met Jesus and he called them to follow him “they pulled their boat up on shore, left everything and followed him.”  What a bold move!

They didn’t tie their boats to a pier so that could return to them just in case things didn’t work out.  They pulled them on shore, symbolically saying, “We’re done with that old life.”  (An intriguing footnote to that is when Jesus was crucified, these men had such a poor understanding of those events that they believed the dream was over.  And what did they do?  They found those boats, dragged them back into the water to take up their old life.)

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that one of my abiding beliefs is that change is possible.

If you are in a place that you believe you need to escape, be bold.  Step out on the gangplank of uncertainty.  Walk toward the unknown.  Do not be deterred by the cost of living a new life because the cost of the life you are currently living will eventually lead to your demise, either physically, spiritually or both.

{If you enjoy stories about overcoming immense odds, you will enjoy my books “Tucker’s Way” and the sequel “For Tucker.”  Click on my books page and you will find the links there.  Thanks for stopping by my blog!}


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