Thursday, February 18, 2021


Have compassion on me, Lord, for I am weak. 

                                                                            —Psalm 6:2 (NLT)


One of my favorite author/speakers is Marilyn Meberg.  A speaker with the original  Women of Faith team, Marilyn excels at punctuating her life lessons with droll humor and off-the-wall examples.  In her book I’d Rather Be Laughing, Marilyn shares a story regarding the need to change. In it, a man named Calvin buys a parrot for company only to be horrified by the bird's terrible language. Calvin learns that even strenuous efforts to make things go the way we want them to may not be enough and the parrot has an epiphany too. I don't want to give away her story or her punch line, but I highly recommend the book and all of Marilyn's other wonderful volumes.

Marilyn's story about change made me laugh, but of course part of the value of her work and story is that change is more often difficult than funny. It’s a constant in this earthly life. Things just don’t stay the same on any level…personal, country, church or any other facet of life. The key question always comes down to each of us as individuals regardless of the scope and reach of the community.

Like Marilyn's Calvin, we learn that we can't really change anyone (or anything) else. We can only change ourselves—and even when the need for change is clear, it's definitely neither quick nor easy. The initial reaction when we’re faced with the need for change is to resist. We protest that “I/We’ve never done things that way before,” make other excuses, procrastinate, resist. Sooner or later, though, the time comes when we have to determine how to maneuver this new situation with as much grace and dignity as possible. We stop resisting. We begin to wonder, What can I do to make this new situation as painless as possible? rather than Why can't things go back to the way they were? 

And maybe, as Marilyn's work suggests, we learn to laugh at least a little about what we're facing. Because even if our situation isn't funny, our intractable human resistance to change usually is.