Do you know how many times you want to make certain changes…until they are in your face? Then suddenly those same changes aren’t quite as easy as you thought they were going to be?
That describes what happened to us. During most of the time we worked in Jamaica, we were honestly trying to work ourselves out of a job. During our last school year there, we were taken by surprise when our work permits were not renewed! By our, I mean just about all the Bible College teaching faculty. It was totally unexpected.
Here’s the thing about change vs. status quo…
Status quo represents security and comfort. Change is rarely comfortable. It is disruptive. It always is! It disrupts the status quo for sure. It also disrupts our normal and changes it. It often involves moves of some sort…job changes, schedule changes and frequently a geographical move…sometimes even away from the town where we live. For us it involved a local move. Have I told you how much I hate to move? Absolutely hate moves!!
As I have said before, it would have required us to return to the U.S. before the end of the school year and thrown the year into chaos!
Plans for the new school year: 1976-77
At the beginning of the 1976-1977 school year, we found out about the work permits. We knew we wouldn’t know about after that until after the election in December. That meant making some serious plans regarding Jamaicans who would fill gaps so the school could go on more smoothly.
That meant one couple would need to move on campus…where all the homes were filled with Americans. We felt we should move off campus. It was not an easy decision, but we felt if Jamaicans were to take more leadership in the Bible College, it meant we should be more inconvenienced if needed.
We found a house to live in for that last year in Jamaica…and moved.
We were able to find a house not too far away for a reasonable price, that was fairly secure. Then we moved in just before school started. It was not easy or convenient. But I’m glad we did it. It was the right thing to do.
Yes, we were broken into once and a couple of things were taken. And one Saturday we rushed out the door to go downstairs to get the car to go to a meeting and it was gone! It had been stolen while we slept. What a pain! Amazingly, it was found a couple of weeks later and easily repaired. After that, we didn’t have any more robberies. But that is a story for another day.
So that is my story of our learning to make change we believed in and not hanging on to the status quo that we liked. It’s hard to believe that even missionaries struggle to deal with this isn’t it? So do pastors and other Christians!
Challenge: Do you ever struggle with the tension between making the changes you need to vs. maintaining the status quo?
What do you do when that happens? How do you ask GOD to help you? What do you ask Him to help you do?