Putting the Spec in Perspective
Posted on 18 March 2018
Change is hard. Change is good. Change is death. Change is life. As the singular purpose for us to be alive is to evolve, why do we have such an acrimonious relationship with change?
I was at an event where the venue for this monthly business meeting was changing to a new location ten miles away. As a guest, I was not privy to the reasons for the change. However, I know any change, even the ones we know are needed, are often met with staunch resistance, naysayers, and even saboteurs. I read a book about how a church split apart because someone moved the church organ from stage right to stage left. I know, heresy, right?
At the close of this event, I heard several individuals relay to the second in command they would not be coming to the new location. Now I understand there may have been extenuating circumstances, but when the declaration, “you just lost all four of us” followed, I realized this divorce was caused by an out of joint nose, or in this case, noses.
I don't mean to judge. I've been an alienated follower for many years of my life, so I recognize the spirit of pride from whence this "I'm taking my ball and going home" attitude originates. That's right, the spirit of pride that lets you feel morally and intellectually superior to everyone else, evaluate their changes as "not needed" or "moronic," and withdraw your support. But I'd like to think that in my growing maturity and spiritual development, I'm learning the fine art of "Not Making a Mountain Out of a Molehill 101."
I spent my time in the Air Force as a fighter aircraft maintenance Officer. I love all things aviation and even love flying commercially. I always request a window seat because I adore the perspective at 35,000 feet. Like the astronaut, John Glenn, who saw the face of God from space, I too get a viewpoint that reorients not only my thinking, but also my feeling and behaving. You get the big picture when you're in the big sky. Things that seemed so large are now so insignificant. So it is with the changes in our routines that impact our daily lives. Do we let these small asteroids obliterate us? Or do we allow them to burn up in the atmosphere before they make an impact?
Robert Chaleff wrote a book titled, The Courageous Follower. In it, he outlines five ways followers can not only stand up to but for, leaders. One of the ways we as friends, co-workers, leaders, siblings, mentors, neighbors, and basic human beings, can participate in transformation (fancy name for change) is to display the understanding that change is necessary and that we must champion that need, even if we don't agree with it. We must continually ask ourselves, is a change in meeting space, organ location, vacation plans, work schedule, policy or procedures, worth falling on our proverbial sword for? In the grand scheme of things, the answer is always, no.
The Bible has an interesting verse about specks. In Matthew 7:3, the Apostle states, "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” Unless someone is asking us to do something immoral, illegal, or unethical, why do we assume it is more important to be right than relational? If we focused more on being deferent instead of what's different, we'd be able to live more collaboratively.
This week, as the myriad of changes come crashing into your carefully structured and ordered orbit, remember to put the spec in perspective. Keep the big picture; see it for what it is. Next week this time you won't even remember the irritant, and in a month, it'll be gone forever. Life's so much easier when we go with the flow of humanity and make it a point to not withdraw our support as a sign of protest. I'm not asking you to go through life with an air of passivity, but rather with a heart of positivity that all change is tremendous if you just have the right perspective.