Colorado Springs - Photo by Carey Nieuwhof

I have this reluctant realization in my life… I usually only change when the pain of the status quo is greater than the pain associated with change.

I wish it wasn’t so, but think about it… might that also be true of you?  You want to get thinner or work out, but it’s easier after the doctor told you to do it because if you don’t, within five years you’re going to face a major health crisis.  Why do you change when that happens?  Because the pain associated with the status quo just become greater than the pain associated with change.

Or the couple that finally sought marriage counselling.  The tedium endured for years but the blow up last month made it untenable.  Even though it wasn’t great for a long time, the pain associated with the status quo was still less than the pain associated with change. Until that changes there often isn’t any change.

So how does the status quo end up playing out in your family?  Families work hard in the early years to find create rhythms and patterns become the status quo.  The problem is that the status quo can easily drift from what we want it to be.  And before we know it our time with our kids is up.

So what do you do to avoid this?  I’ve found a few things that helped me and I love to hear from you.  Here are a few things that help me break through the status quo:

  • Getting a clear picture of the end in mind.  I imagine my life, my kids, my family ten years from now and ask “what do I want to be true”?
  • Imagining what people will say about me at my funeral.  I don’t want praise.  I just want to have lived well and faithfully.  What they say at your funeral can sum your life up in a sound bite.   What will that sound bite say?
  • Having a life mission bigger than me. My faith moves me to a greater vision…and having a personal Saviour motivates me to personal action.  Most of what I want to do is beyond my ability, but Christ empowers in ways we can never fully empower ourselves.

When these three things are at work in my life, change becomes possible.  If I really focus on them…change becomes inevitable.

How about you?  What motivates you to change?  How do you break through the status quo in your family?