Somewhere in my forties I found myself working on another academic degree. Once again, a class was forcing me out of my comfort zone. Perhaps the course and college professor were simply doing their job: challenging students to make a paradigm shift.
I’d read the term, “paradigm shift” several times in professional writings, but I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. Then I picked up my daughter, Mary’s, copy of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Covey offered an example that resonated all the way through me.
Webster defines paradigm shift this way: “an important change that happens when the usual way of thinking about or doing something is replaced by a new and different way.”
Did you catch that, Dear Reader? AN IMPORTANT CHANGE. Please note, the definition gives no indication of if a paradigm shift will mean progress or pain, or both.
Thankfully, some paradigm shifts, thinking about something in a new way, are easy and painless. I love this pic of the first time Tom held our oldest granddaughter, Annalyn. Obviously, he shifted his paradigm from parent to grandparent beautifully.
That was the easy part when Annalyn was born. Frankly, fourteen years later I still struggle shifting my paradigm of being the mom in charge to embracing Mary as the mom. Is it hard for anybody else, Dear Readers, to accept and respond your children in their adult roles sometimes?
Don’t change yourselves to be like the people of this world, but let God change you inside with a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to understand and accept what God wants for you. You will be able to know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect.
Romans 12:2 ERV
For those of us living in the real world, most of have learned that there can be tremendous, life-changing, paradigm shifts thrust upon us. Do you know what I’m talking about, Dear Reader?
How do we navigate from pain to progress with a paradigm shift we didn’t ask for? When a child chooses relationships that you just can’t seem to understand? Or what about when it seems that no one in one of your worlds looks, or talks, or thinks like you?
This feeble voice of experience, this spirit that has been broken more than once has learned four invaluable truths when trying to make a paradigm shift from pain to progress:
* It really doesn’t matter if the shift was initiated by you, someone else, or circumstances;
* We aren’t equipped to make the shift completely on our own;
* Our Heavenly Father is not only equipped, but also longs to ease the way for us;
* We have a choice about whether or not to accept His help, it will not be forced upon us.
Dear Reader, what kind of paradigm shift is currently in the midst your life ? May I tell you, encourage you, of two more things?
First, with God’s help, you can change your mind and soul to a new way of thinking. Secondly, you’re not alone.
Yes, be bold and strong! Banish fear and doubt! For remember, the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9 TLB