Friday, May 25, 2007

Adaptive Change

I just read an interesting book called 90 Minutes in Heaven. It is by a man named Don Piper who claims to have been clinically dead for 90 minutes and then came back to life after having a vision of heaven. I must confess that I'm not sure what to think about his vision of heaven and that is not the part of the story that really grabbed me. What caught my attention was the story of his recovery. He had been crushed under a truck and had broken many bones. Some bones had been shattered and others were actually missing. Most of his recovery involved having his legs in a painful device designed to encourage bone growth.

Don was lucky to be alive, but his life would never be the same. He spoke of this as learning to live in a new normal. He said he could keep remembering and dwelling on what he could never do again or he could start to learn and appreciated what he could now do. His decided to discover his new normal. I was very interested in how he adapted to the changes in his life and found contentment even though his life was forever changed in ways he would not have wished on anyone.

Don's injuries could not be reversed. There was no quick fix or new technique that could restore him to his former health and life style. Don had to change from the inside out to find a new normal - a new type of health. He had to adapt to things that he could not change.

Sometimes we all face things that we can't change: death, divorce, disability and more. There is a time to mourn and no one can tell you how long or how short that will be. There is also a time to find the new normal and no one can decide that time for you either. Some one once put it this way- the journey of grief is discovering what was lost, discovering what is left and discovering what is possible. This is what I am calling "adaptive change". I think that also describes the road to finding a new normal. Jesus does not promise to take all our pain away in this life. He does invite us to allow God to make all things new.

Here's a question to dwell and ponder. How is becoming a Christian like finding a new normal?

1 comment:

chris e. said...

Hi Pastor Steve.
I like this idea of "new normal" a lot. It makes sense.
About becoming a Christian--God washes us clean. Like a fresh start. Past wrongs are not held against us. We need to learn how to forgive ourselves. We need to believe God’s word that we ARE forgiven!
We are human, so we will make mistakes. I think God easily and graciously forgives us as long as we are seriously repentant and make our best effort to change.
The new normal is like new baseline--a new place of reference to measure from. It’s like on a math number-line moving the 0 up to the right, and not dwelling in the negative numbers any more.
This makes a lot of sense because so many of us want to go back (mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually) to the way things used to be before things changed that hurt us so.
I suppose that is never possible—to return to the way things were, exactly.
But we can live and learn and seek and Grow in Jesus (using Prayer, God’s word, Fellowship etc) and then God takes all of our experiences and helps us to use them to help others thru their rough times.
Then We Are Blessed in our true service to others thru Jesus.
Thanks Pastor Steve for sharing.
God Bless You.