Do you fear change or embrace it?

Over the summer I was on vacation at the Outer Banks and while relaxing on the beach with my toes in the sand I picked up the book "Who Moved My Cheese?"  written by Spencer Johnson.  It was a simple but very profound book.The story is about 4 characters, 2 mice named Scurry and Sniff, and 2 people named Hem and Haw. They live in a maze and everyday they have to search the maze to find cheese to feed and nourish them. They quickly find the cheese station that has the cheese and every morning they follow the same routine of getting up and going through the maze to get the cheese. They did this for quite some time then one day they woke up and the cheese was gone. There was no more cheese. Instinctively, the mice Sniff and Scurry went around the maze searching for new cheese and quickly found a new cheese station with new cheese. Due to their human nature, Hem and Haw took a different path.

Hem was angry and said it was unfair that the cheese had moved and he refused to look for new cheese. He remained at the old cheese station while Haw eventually went out alone into the maze in search of new cheese.

Originally, Haw was afraid to go out into the maze and look for new cheese. He didn't know it but he was still being  weighed down by his own fear of the future. I think this is us sometimes. When our lives change sometimes we are asked to let go and adapt to new or different  things that God is placing in front of us, but instead we hold on to past things. Haw wrote : "the quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you find new cheese." This is much like Jesus teaches us in the scripture in Isaiah 43:18 -19, “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth." It is only when we fully let go of the past that we are able to embrace what God has placed in our path right here and now in our present lives. The sooner we accept and adapt to that, the sooner we will feel God's peace and grace.

If we inhibit any type of fear, that can hold us back from our full potential and can hold us back from that new place that God is calling us to. It is all up us, whether or not we allow God to use that fear to mold us or if we let that fear control and cripple us. If you are experiencing fear, view that as God's way ofgiving you the tools to help you grow closer to Him and deeper in faith.

Haw didn't fully realize, but he was letting go and trusting in what was ahead of him even though he didn't know what exactly that was because he hoped in the goodness of the future. We must use this as an example in our own lives in trusting the Lord. If we truly trust in God's plan for our lives wholeheartedly and trust in His love for us then what must we fear? Even with all the unknowns in life and when our lives don't always turn out the way we planned, we have to remember that Christ has a special plan for every single one of us.  A plan that is going to lead us to the most fulfillment here on Earth while striving to get to Heaven. You see, change can be a scary thing but it can also be a very good thing if we let it be. It has great potential to shape us and help us grow into the best versions of ourselves.

After searching for a long while for new cheese, Haw began to get discouraged that he would never find the new cheese. This is much like us and our faith. Sometimes we get impatient or discouraged throughout the journey, when really if we keep our eyes centered on God, He will bring us to the point where we are supposed to be even if it is not what we thought it would be like. Maybe it will take more time than we thought or maybe we will have to take a different path that we didn't think we would have to. But in the end when we keep our eyes and our prayers centered on Christ we will be led to exactly where we are supposed to be.

Haw soon learned that when he embraced the change and didn't give up hope, it eventually lead him to something even better: more cheese!

This is symbolic to our own lives too, as we fear change maybe because we are comfortable with our current situations or because we fear that the change is going to be worse than what we had before or currently have now. When in reality, when things don't go our way, even if we suffer for a short period of time, God uses that to shape our hearts and  lead us to something even better and even greater than we can image.  

Because Haw took that step into the unknown with trust that he would be nourished with the cheese, he was! This is the story of our lives. All God asks of us is a willing heart, a heart to follow Him and to allow Him to do the rest. As long as we are faithful to Him, He will guide us on this path of fulfillment and happiness. If we keep our eyes on Christ, He will nourish us along the journey and we will always be lead to exactly where we are suppose to be.

◄Deuteronomy 31:8 says, "The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

He may lead us to places we have never known before in ways we never thought we would experience, but we have to remember that it is always for our benefit and for our greater good.

Hem did not want to join Haw in going into the maze to find new cheese. He was comfortable with the old cheese and wanted that back.  His stubbornness and resistance to change, held him back from growing into  his full potential. I am just as guilty as the next person in being stubborn and sometimes holding onto things, but we do this, we are only human! We hold onto things or people that are familiar as security when really our trust and security should be placed in God and God alone.

Haw was out in the maze for a long while alone, searching for cheese. And then he finally found the new pathway with the new cheese! It was there all along, Haw just had to find it. This is God's beautiful story for our lives. Sometimes He is trying to show us something or reveal something to us but we are blind to it because we are so focused on something else or we are holding onto something in the past. But when we let go of the past and truly immerse ourselves in the blessings of the present, God can create miracles in our hearts.

Often times in life we are faced with things that can change that we have no control over. So what will you do when faced with change? Spencer Johnson writes, "Will you believe that change will harm you and resist it? Or will you believe that it will help you and embrace it? "It all depends on what you chose to believe." (page 65) Sometimes all we need is a little faith to BELIEVE!

In the end Haw finally finds what he had been searching for, the new cheese, but he found  it in a place where he wasn't originally looking. He allowed God to use his mistakes to change him to be better. If we allow it, God can use His transformative power to change our lives. He surprises us with blessings in places we sometimes don't suspect.  Change is a chance to grow and learn, a blessing in disguise that can lead you to the bigger and better plans that God has in store for you. ENJOY IT, and EMBRACE this ever changing adventure we call life :)