Journey to Rediscover Jesus Day 22: Beyond Tweaking

It’s almost midnight and I am tired. I am physically worn out from doing yardwork all day long and I am mentally and emotionally tired from dealing with some of the problems that I have talked about in the last few days. To be honest, I have no desire to write Day 22’s reflection. It would be easy enough to skip it but I’ve decided to try to write it out.

This Lent has been difficult. I didn’t give up anything in particular but instead decided to include a few practices into my life to hopefully help my heart and my mind change. It’s been hard. One of the practices I have chosen is to pray for people who are causing me pain. Talk about a challenge! It goes against everything we are taught by society and yet here I am, praying for people who have only wished me {and my family} harm.

I figured this Lent I needed to do more than just give up chocolate or swearing {although I am still trying to give that up}or staying up late at night. No, I knew that God wanted more from me and to be honest, I want more from me too. God deserves my best and so praying for those who hurt me is one way to give him my best. After all, he still loves them every bit as much as I do, shouldn’t I change my attitude too and love them as well?

Chapter 22: Beyond Tweaking

I have to admit that each time I read the title of this chapter I read it as “Beyond Twerking”. Maybe it’s the font it’s written in or maybe it’s just that lately I’ve had to reiterated that “we don’t twerk in this house” to my children, but either way it makes me laugh a little each time.

But seriously, this chapter is amazing once you get past the title and dig into the meat of the message. Transformation… something we all want and yet many times we are scared to commit to it. Maybe it’s the leaving the familiar that is unsettling or maybe it’s not knowing the process of changing that makes us a little skittish; whatever it is, changing our lives, especially when it comes to faith and God, can be intimidating.

Matthew Kelly writes that we know that God’s Word and love can change us. It is powerful and transformative. It can bring us peace and hope and joy. So why do we fight it? Maybe it is because once we allow God to transform us we know that we will have to do better than we already are. This requires work and dedication on our part, and let’s face it, many of us are just plain lazy when it comes to accepting more work and dedicating ourselves to one more thing when our lives are so busy already. Who the heck wants to be held to higher standards or to be called to do more?

We often don’t want to be completely transformed ourselves but we sure do want God to change other people in our lives. How many of us pray “Lord, please change his heart” or “Father, help her to see where she is wrong”? In the past when others have come to me for advice about problems within a relationship I always tell them that before trying to change their spouse or friend or whoever, that they have to look at what they themselves are doing wrong in the relationship and change that first. Most of the time people don’t want to hear that advice. I will admit that I don’t like to hear it either, but it is true. We have to focus on changing ourselves to be people who can love and be loved. We have to work with God to transform our lives so that we can experience true peace, hope, and love.

God wants to do more than tweak our lives; He wants to transform us. But this will never happen if we don’t accept his help and his love. We must work with him if we wish to become the best versions of ourselves.

Point to Ponder: The butterfly emerges from the cocoon; it is a beautiful transformation.

The butterfly is one of my favorite images for change. They have always reminded me of the babies I have lost. I think of the butterflies in terms of the babies themselves- many who were sick or suffering now completely healed. But I also think of them in terms of myself. Each and every child I have lost has transformed me. I am not the person I was before. Their lives changed me, even though for some I only held them under my heart for such a very short time. They transformed my life in a way I could never have imagined.

There is a saying that goes, “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” I do not know who the author the quote is but it is the perfect way to describe the importance of transformation. Transformation and change is not always easy, in fact, more often than not it’s very difficult. But the beauty that results is well worth the sacrifice.

Verse to Live: “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see everything has become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

When we choose to live for Christ there will be a change in us. Everything old must pass away so that the new can take its place. When we make a choice to pick up our crosses and follow Jesus, we are telling God that we know his love will change us and that we are ok with it. However, we have to cooperate with God in the process. We can’t sit by idly and think that we will become a new creation. God could do it on his own but he gives us the free will to cooperate in the process. We have to be prepared to pray the prayer for transformation. We have to be prepared to freely submit to God’s will and love. If we don’t we will never experience true transformation.

Question to Consider: What will be the hardest thing about letting God transform you and your life?

For me it is the loss of control. It’s hard to completely submit my life when I worry about all the “what ifs”. I know in my heart that God will have it covered but my mind tells me that I need to make sure things are just so and that I’m making sure everything is done in a timely manner and how I think it should be. I have to be able to give all of that over to God and simply unite my will to his and trust that how God wants it to be is so much better than what I can imagine.

Your Turn: Do you want God to transform your life or are you fine with where you are at right now? What is the hardest part of allowing God to transform you? Do you ever ask God to tweak things for you instead of change you instead? Do you think you will be able to pray the prayer of transformation?

Prayer: Jesus, keep the desire for transformation alive in my heart.

Help me to unite my will to yours so that I will experience a metamorphosis in my life. I want to be open to your hope and your love. Change me, Lord; transform my heart. I give you my all… make of it what you will. Amen.

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