Sunday, December 24, 2017

How long does transformation take?


DAY by day. That’s what my wife said when I asked her how long she think it took for her to come to terms with the things she disliked about me: day by day.
In other words, there was no countable timeframe.
There were things that she didn’t like about me, especially the things that came up for her in years two and three of our marriage (we’re in our eleventh year now). These things came up in my style of parenting, as a single parent, and particularly how I related to my daughters at times in ways that left her feeling she wasn’t my wife at all.
So, you can imagine how hard it would be, for a new wife to find ways to both challenge her husband, yet accept what’s left that cannot be changed.
How long does transformation take: day by day. Sometime later, paradoxically as we’ve somehow learned to accept that which once tormented us, we looked back and found that transformation was complete. Not that we’re perfectly satisfied, but we’re content, which is good enough.
The process of transformation was, after all, most certainly beyond us in and of ourselves, which is why we needed to drink in deeply the libation of God’s grace.
God is hard at work on each of us, and we make His work easier (and indeed easy) when we step out of the way. We understand this as the concept of surrender, which is harder (but simpler) than we realise.
We all want our goals achieved overnight, with the minimum of fuss, effortlessly, so we can experience the rewards. But life in the process of transformation cannot work that way. Life in the glory of its reality doesn’t depict the dream we desire it would. Life is a process and it requires us to be patient; steady enough to be satisfied with small, barely discernible, gains made day by day. Life demands faith.
Transformation isn’t about achieving perfection, it’s the process of sustaining change.

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