Do you know who Jonas Hanway is? Probably not. Most people don’t. He’s an Englishman who’s been memorialized in Westminster Abbey for his efforts to help orphans and prostitutes.
Does that help?
We’re all indebted to him and in a real sense, dependent on him. Want to know why? He’s credited with popularizing the indispensable gadget we’ve all come to depend on: the umbrella. Originally, in England, people used umbrellas (or the “portable roof”) to shade themselves from the sun. The word umbrella comes from the Latin word “umbra” meaning shadow. So “umbrella” came to mean “little shadow.”
Jonas Hanway made the umbrella popular as the “must have” accessory providing protection from the rain.
But it wasn’t always as popular as it is now.
According to historians, when he first walked down a street with an opened umbrella over his head, people threw things at him, including insults. Why? They’d never seen an umbrella before.
It was new. It was different.
Change is an inevitable and unavoidable part of life. In fact, there’s a word for things that don’t change: dead. Dead things don’t change. Dead people don’t change. Dead churches don’t change.
Mark Twain said, “The only person who likes a change is a wet baby.” In most cases, most people are for change until it means they have to change.
John Mason confirmed that when he said, “Everyone wants to change the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
Change is inevitable if you’re going to grow. Whether we’re talking about your garden, your grandchildren or your church. But change is painful. That’s why we avoid the gym, any kind of conflict and conversations we know we need to have with people we love.
Change is an inevitable and unavoidable part of life.
Leadership guru, Samuel Chand says, “Reluctance to face pain is your greatest limitation. There is no growth without change, no change without loss, and no loss without pain.” He also said, “Don’t run from your pain. Don’t deny it exists. It’s the most effective leadership development tool the world has ever known. You’ll grow only to the threshold of your pain, so raise it!”
How good are you at embracing change? As Christians, we ought to lead the way when it comes to change and we ought to get better with age. In other words, the longer we follow the Lord the better we ought to be at embracing change. (Let that one sink in.)
Tom Peters said, “Change is a door that can only be opened from the inside.” In other words, it’s really up to us whether or not we grow. But we can’t grow if we’re not willing to change.
So are you? The old saying is true, “When you’re through changing, you’re through.”
And don’t worry if you walk outside and others don’t like it.
© 2019. Barry L. Cameron
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.