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August 8, 2020

Ann Farabee: The change

By Ann Farabee
For the Salisbury Post

January 2020 had arrived. In the year 2000, I had asked my students to predict what 2020 would be like. They overwhelmingly decided that the big story of the year would be flying cars.

I was not seeing that, but the new year did feel special, and I decided to pray for a year of transformation. It was a prayer that seemed to transcend my normal prayers, for it went leaps, bounds, rivers, and mountains past a New Year’s resolution.

It felt like a cry from my heart.

Transform means to change completely.

Transformation is the process we use to get there.

I began to form my strategy for transformation 2020 by making a list:

• This needed to be changed…

• That needed to be changed…

• If only they would change…

Oops…my list had already begun to include changes I felt others should make.

Planning the transformation of someone else in order for me to be transformed?

Probably not the best strategy.

I needed for change to begin in me — not for me to attempt to change others.

My planning was not going well. It reminded me of watching a bee stuck in a spider web, buzzing around, putting forth great effort, but making no progress.

I remembered working as a cashier when I was a teenager. Change had to be given back on most purchases. We were not allowed to say, “Here’s your change,” and hand it to them. Instead, we had to count out the change one coin at a time, as we placed it into their hands.

Quite often, after customers had gathered their bags and walked away, they would turn back and ask, “Did you give me my change?”

I would smile and say, “I sure did.”

As the months of 2020 began to pass, I realized my change had begun.

It was not the change that had been on my list.

It was much better than that.

My change came from Ephesians 4:23, “Be renewed in the spirit of your mind.”

To renew means to give fresh life or strength to — which was what I needed.

The changes were delivered into the spirit of my mind. It was not instantaneous. They came one at a time. They came straight from the hand of God. As they came, I reached out to accept them.

The spirit of my mind — had been renewed by God.

For God who made me can also renew me.

Change had come — and not through my plans or my power.

I had not even needed my list of changes — he had a list prepared for me.

When I began to realize change had come, I could not help but think, “Lord, did you give me my change?”

I somehow think he smiled and said, “I sure did.”

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