| Click Now to Order
Can you Spare some "Change?"
1 Chron. 12:32
"men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should
do--200 chiefs, with all their relatives under their command;"
A couple of hunters hired an Alaskan bush pilot to drop them in a remote
location, then return in seven days to pick them up. At the appointed time,
the pilot arrived and loaded the hunters and their gear in the plane. "Wait
a minute," said the first hunter. "What about our moose?" "Sorry," said
the pilot. "We're at maximum weight already."
"But our pilot last year loaded our moose, and he had the same size
plane as this one."
"Really?" asked the pilot, not wanting to be outdone. "Well, I guess
we could give it a try."
With that he strapped a moose carcass on each pontoon. They sputtered
to the end of the lake to get the longest possible takeoff. He shoved the
throttle forward; they began to move, and finally, they lifted off the
lake, just skimming the trees. But the pilot was right. They were seriously
overloaded, and crashed just minutes into the flight.
Both hunters were knocked unconscious, but came to at about the same
time. The first hunter looked around at the mess, moose meat and plane
"Where are we?" he asked his partner.
"About 50 yards from where we crashed last year."
Doing things the way we've always done them insures that we'll continue
to get the results we've always gotten. Successful people are willing to
change with the times. People who cannot or will not change, run the risk
of extinction. (http://www.freshministry.org/illustrations.html)
In the 1800's the Shaker's had colonies all over New England, but today,
only one colony-the New Gloucester, Maine colony-is still active, and it
has only eight Shakers keeping the "old way." At one time, the Shakers
were on the cutting edge of progress and technology and were consumers
of new and useful products, in fact, they were inventors. Today, they are
best known for their craftsmanship and the quality of the style of furniture
that bears their name.
But at some point, they stopped progressing, developing and changing.
And some day soon, they will only be a memory. (http://www.freshministry.org/illustrations.html)
In the October 2000 edition of Fast company, Seth Godin tells the following
"After my first year at Stanford Business School, I went to see Jim
Levy, then-president of Activision, Inc., which, at the time, was arguably
one of the fastest-growing companies in the history of the world. Activision
made games for the Atari 2600 game system and was rolling in dough. I wanted
to work for Levy for the summer.
My bold proposal: "Hey, you've got all this cash and all these smart
marketers and programmers. Why not go into the computer game business?
You can dominate the PC the way you dominate the Atari 2600.
Looking back 25 years, that wasn't such a bold proposal. After all,
the PC market was only an inch or two away from the market that Activision
was already in. But Levy disagreed with my proposition and almost had me
removed from his office by force. He told me, "We're in the cartridge business-and
those machines use floppy disks. Forget it."(http://www.freshministry.org/illustrations.html)
Flexibility and the willingness to change is necessary to survival.
But sometimes the best thing we can do is remain the same and hold onto
In the mid 18th century, wealthy Massachusetts colonists built an elegant
house to reflect their status in the new world. Over the next two hundred
years, the same house sheltered all kinds of Americans, including revolutionaries
who took up arms against the British, a family of abolitionists, a mill
worker and her Irish mother, and finally, a family of frugal Yankees who
fought World War II on the home front.
Forty years ago, the neglected and sagging house was marked for demolition
when the city of Ipswich needed a new parking lot. Residents of the area
recognized the historic value of the old home, and fought to save it from
the bulldozers. They feared that the destruction of the old house meant
losing touch with the past. Today, the house is a permanent display at
the National Museum of American History. Though visitors can not actually
go inside the structure, they can look through windows and cut away walls
to get a sense of what it was like to live in the house during various
periods of American history.
Museum historian and one the curators of the show, Lonn Taylor says,
"In my opinion, it's the greatest artifact in the museum." Shelly Nickles,
one of the other curators adds, "It should inspire people to realize the
connections between themselves and their home lives and something greater.
It surprises visitors how much history can be found by traveling through
time and the lives of people in one house." (http://www.freshministry.org/illustrations.html)
So what should we change and what should we preserve? What's the difference
between a classic car and a pile of junk? What's the difference between
a fad and a trend? What's the difference between being eccentric and being
totally looney tunes? Why do some things stand the test of time and other
things quickly fad from memory?
I don't know where to draw the lines, but I do know those lines exist.
I mean, collectors restore far more 66 Mustangs than they do 72 Vegas.
I doubt if very many people got pet rocks for Christmas or Cabbage Patch
dolls for that matter, but plenty of children still got Barbie dolls and
GI Joe action figures.
During this time of the year, we reflect upon the past and rethink our
future. While we reflect, we have a great opportunity to recast our future
by separating the things in our life that we need to change and the things
that need to stay the same. Some houses do need to be torn down, but some
need to be put into museums. And some things in our lives need to change,
and others need to stay the same.
That process begins when we honestly re-evaluate our core being. What
are your values, the things that you'll fight and die for? What are the
things that make you uniquely you? Be sure to get passed the window dressings
of your life-drill down to the core.
For instance, you may define yourself as a young person, an attractive
person or a healthy person. Some of those things will definitely change.
You can't stop father time from making you older. Get passed those surface
things, drill deep, discover who you are.
Those enduring values are the continental divide of your soul. They
are the things that cannot, and should not change. Things like your devotion
to God's word. Isaiah 40:8 says, "The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever." (NASB) Or the anchor of our soul,
our faith in Jesus Christ. Hebrews 13:8 proclaims that "Jesus Christ is
the same yesterday and today and forever." Because He is unchanging, our
devotion to Him is unchanging.
Dig deep and you'll discover values like these-values that define who
you are. You will also discover, if you are honest in your reflection,
some areas of your life that need to change. I don't know what those areas
are for you, but my guess is that you have them.
It might be in the area of cultivating a spiritual discipline, or repairing
a damaged relationship. Perhaps you need to take better care of the temple
God has given you and improve your health.
The men of Issachar had a discerning spirit. They knew Israel, they
knew the times, and they knew what Israel should do. I pray that God will
give us all a discerning spirit. Because this moment could be a defining
moment in your life.
Don't squander the opportunity you have today to dedicate yourself to
a better tomorrow. Reinforce those values that you should not change-that
you will not change, but resolve to change those things that you should