Adapt

“What is born of flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.” John 3:6

There is a story about a minister who moved the piano in the church from one side of the sanctuary to the other. This made the congregation so angry that the leaders immediately moved the piano back to its original location and the minster finally had to leave that church. It wasn’t until about 15 years later that he returned one Sunday for a visit. He was shocked when he walked into the church to see that the piano had been moved! It was right where he had wanted it! After the service he asked the pastor: “How did you convince them to move the piano?

“Oh, I didn’t convince them,” replied the pastor. “I moved it a couple inches every week; they never noticed the change.”

We are told there are two kinds of changes – adaptive and technical. A “technical change” is something like moving the furniture. An “adaptive change” refers to the kind of change that requires a different way of thinking about things, a new way of seeing the world.

The pastor who moved the piano across the sanctuary one Sunday was initiating a technical change that required an adaptive shift the congregation was not willing to make. Jesus was much more interested in adaptive rather than technical change. The Spirit is what enables us to see the world in a new way. We sometimes refer to it as a “change of heart”, suggesting that before we can accept the changes going on around us we have to change the way of thinking within us.

Some things change so slowly they don’t require any adaptive effort. But much of the time we are faced with technical changes that demand a change of attitude. When our ability or willingness to adapt does not keep up with the pace of change going on around us we become frustrated, angry and bitter.

Be on the lookout today for the ways the Holy Spirit is inviting you to adapt. And maybe you will catch a glimpse of the kingdom of heaven and the reign of God happening right before your eyes.

Mark Demers

Want to talk about sex, politics, spirituality? So do I. I grew up in a religious home in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Our country was reeling from assassinations and the devastation of the Viet Nam War. Looking for something beautiful, I got a degree in music, married the love of my life and had children. Looking for God, I then went to seminary. Looking for something that might transform the world, I became a local church pastor. Now, I’m always looking for people who want to talk about important things. I cherish conversations with emerging leaders, people who are antsy to try an idea they believe would change the world for the better. I’d would love to hear from you.