Change is often forced upon us. Yet, we also can choose how to react to change and whether or not to resist it. And sometimes, we may feel the need for change and not be quite sure how or what to change. This is where I find myself today. With that thought, please allow me to take you on a journey through what’s going on in my mind of late.
In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix after Delores Umbridge was announced as the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, she interrupted Dumbledore to make this speech.
“Thank you, headmaster, for those kind words of welcome. […] The Ministry of Magic has always considered the education of young witches and wizards to be of a vital importance. Although each headmaster has brought something new to this… historic school, progress for the sake of progress must be discouraged. Let us preserve what must be preserved, perfect what can be perfected and prune practices that ought to be… prohibited!“
Dumbledore’s response was simply, “Thank you Professor Umbridge. That really was most illuminating.” Most had no idea what Umbridge was saying, but Hermione provided some insight by saying “It means, the Ministry is interfering in Hogwarts.”
As anyone who has watched the movie or read the book knows, Umbridge’s motives were self-serving and out of a deep need for control at any cost. Yet, I can’t help but find some niggling of motivation in her words. Before you think me sadistic too, let me explain.
“Progress for the sake of progress must be discouraged.”
Progress often happens just because it can. We never have the most up-to-date electronics, and we clearly have way more information than we can ever digest. So, for me, I hold back on following trends and try to choose progress that fits the steps I feel directed to take (Proverbs 16:9).
“Preserve what must be preserved.”
As with all of these statements, this one should exist as a personal choice. In other words, what must be preserved often operates on an individual level instead of in a corporate mandate with a one-size-fits-all approach. For me, this means that some of what I do may seem outdated or even complicated to others, but they work for me. Regardless of what experts suggest as the best approach, sometimes we keep what works because it works.
“Perfect what can be perfected”
While I am a big proponent of doing what works for the individual based on personality and temperament, I also realize that one person doesn’t have all the answers. Much of my processes were created as I watched others and adapted what they did as my own.
“Prune practices that ought to be… prohibited!”
This statement can be interpreted in a lot of ways, but it has got me thinking about how detrimental going through the motions of life can be. For me, this needs prohibited. While I am not sure exactly where His steps are taking me, I do know that I need to move forward in a way that allows the negative thoughts and practices that have been holding me back lately to fall away.
In the past, a “funk” like this has sent me deep into a pit of depression. I am refusing to let that happen again. This practice must be prohibited.
What’s the point?
I realize that much of this may make little sense, and that’s okay. I also realize that this post deviates from my blog norm. I’m okay with that too.
The point is that I need to make some changes, to change up my routine and hopefully my thought processes at the same time. To do this, I am looking at my daily routine and making adjustments, as well as considering projects I’ve put off that perhaps need to come to the front of my attention.
In addition, I am going to change up my blog posting schedule a bit. For now, this means regular posts on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But going forward, this may mean trying a few different things before I discover what works, and I hope you’ll hang in with me through that process.
DISCUSSION: I encourage insight, input, etc. into how to implement change, especially when you don’t know exactly what that change should be.
Note: Thank you to Chris Patton at Christian Faith at Work for inspiring me to finally move forward and make changes. Specifically, check out these posts by Chris: