We have a picture on our wall at home. It is a hand-stitched bird, seemingly without a care in the world, sitting on a branch. This quote is stitched beside it, “Every day is an opportunity to make a new ending.” The quote puzzled me at first. Isn’t the focus usually “new beginnings?”
I saw a show the other day called Undercover Boss. The Chief Development Officer of the Subway chain, Don Fertman, was the episode’s “boss in disguise.” Mr. Fertman was raised by an alcoholic father and chose that life for himself as a teenager, using both alcohol and drugs. When he was 19, he was involved in a promotional tour for Subway with his rock band, The Crayons. Shortly after, he began working an office position for Subway but lost his job due to his addictions. He decided to get help, and after he did, he went back to Subway asking for his previous job. Amazingly, he was hired again and has been there for the last 30 years. He had a chance to “make a new ending” for his life. Do you think people will remember Don Fertman, for his beginnings, as a drug addict and alcoholic who couldn’t keep a job? No. Don Fertman will be remembered as a devoted husband and father and the CDO of a successful company with over 41,000 locations worldwide.
Changes. What changes do you want to make in your life? What strategy for change do you have so, at the end of the day, you know you made the most of that day’s opportunities? In all strategies, we need to know our enemy. I would like to suggest to you the three biggest enemies of change:
- Fear. “The fears you don’t own will own you.” -Author Unknown
If the changes that you know you need to make are being blocked because of fear, it’s time to take God at His Word.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
- Failure. “The only failure in life is the failure to try.” -Chuck Swindoll
Maybe someone significant in your life has called you a failure or looked at you as such. Maybe you tried something and were sorely disappointed at the outcome. It is time that you believe what God says about you and put the roadblock of failure behind you.
Be determined and confident. Do not be afraid of them. Your God, the Lord himself, will be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you. Dt. 31:6
- Forgetting. “If we forget the past, we have no faith for the future.”
Forgetting can be a hindrance to change too. Author, Lori Stewart, in her article, The Problem of Forgetting, explains that forgetting what God has done for you, can lead to unbelief, rebellion, participating in foolish behavior and even angering God.
Praise the Lord, I tell myself, and never forget the good things He does for me. Ps. 102:3
What can combat these three enemies of change? One word- faith. It is sometimes hard, in the world that we live in, to keep our faith- when people we love are not healed, when people we care about fall back into addictions, when we are faced with broken promises and disappointment from people that we admire. Jesus said, in I John 5:4, there is a faith that could overcome ALL of that, For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world– our faith.
We can be victorious to make the needed changes in the coming year. One day at a time, we need to say “no” to thoughts of fear and failure and “yes” to remembering all that God has done for us. He does give us an opportunity each and every day to make a new ending!
Book of the month: You Haven’t Taught Until They Have Learned: John Wooden’s Teaching Principles and Practices
Article by: Brice Maddock – COO, Teen Challenge of the Southeast Region