Jesus said, "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 18:3)
This guy gets a parrot but it's got a bad attitude and foul vocabulary. He tries everything to change the bird's attitude and clean up its talk but nothing works. Finally, in a moment of desperation, he puts the parrot in the freezer. For a few moments he hears the bird squawking, kicking and screaming and then, suddenly, all is quiet. He opens the freezer door. The parrot steps out and says, "I'm sorry that I offended you with my language and actions. I ask for your forgiveness. The guy's astounded at the bird's change in attitude and was about to ask what changed him when the parrot continued, "By the way, may I ask - what did the chicken do?"
We've been talking about change, how life is a process of change and growth. One of my favorite characters in the Bible who is asked to change is Jonah. God asks Jonah to go to Nineveh (Assyria), and call them to repentance, or face the consequences. But Jonah doesn't want to do this --- he hates Nineveh, and would love nothing more than see God overthrow the Ninevites. Jonah runs away -- as far as he can go. He causes the ship he's traveling on to almost break apart. He's thrown overboard. He's swallowed by a big fish. He finally begrudging does what God asks, and the Ninevites repent. This angers Jonah even more! And he throws another hissy fit. The story ends, and Jonah's attitude hasn't changed. But God' s did. God changed his mind about destroying Nineveh when they repented. God cares for all people -- even the people we don't care too much about. People who have hurt us. So change is messy!
We often fight change, like Jonah. Even when we resist God's call to change, God is persistent. God loves us too much to let us be less than we can be. God will even work through our resistance, our rebellion, to help us see the bigger picture. We may struggle like Jonah. But thank God -- God uses us, and doesn't give up on us even when we have a bad attitude! God knows, change is a choice. Will we accept it?
Listen to: Change, by Tracy Chapman, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drXwsVYrd20&feature=related
PRAY: "Help me to with my resistance to change "