As a follow up to my previous post:
During my initial struggle to change from the status quo and comfort zone of my Protestant evangelicalism and my allegiance to the precious community of believers with whom I served in ministry for a lifetime, I would have been encouraged had I read Dietrich Von Hildebrand’s insights on “Fidelity to error is not a virtue” in the same chapter quoted previously.
He explained that to abide by a thing inflexibly, merely because we have once believed in it and have come to love it, is not in itself a praiseworthy attitude. We only owe our loyalty to the fullness of truth and to genuine value. On the contrary, in regard to errors and negative values or incomplete truth, we should indeed break with what we formerly cherished and withdraw our trust in them, once we know them to be negative in value.
He further expanded on hindrances to change by pointing out the dangers of feeling that we have to remain faithful to false or less than correct ideas and ideals even after we find them wanting. We may be comfortable with old and familiar things merely because we have lived so long with them, and because they are connected with memories of our childhood and home.
So then, if the stakes are high enough, if a greater treasure than the one I have is available, neither my reputation nor the difficulty or fear of change should hold me back. What a revelation! Even dramatic change toward the higher, the deeper is possible for a Christian in the latter years of life because of the eternal supernatural youthfulness that Von Hildebrand described previously.
I want to live in a continual state of unconditional readiness to change in the positive ways the Spirit of God leads into the fullness of Truth. In this change of faith context, which is essentially not a change “from one religion to another,” as some have viewed it, I don’t leave behind anything of eternal value and revelation truth and biblical truth that I have believed for a lifetime. On the contrary, I move on to a greater fullness of those things, to embrace MORE of God’s truth.
I am still the same born again child of God on a journey Home, ever upward, with my hand in my Father’s hand and following Jesus ever more closely no matter how old I am.
Something within me
is apprehensive of change.
So why am I surprised to know
that I grow through the unpredictable
and struggle through disenchantments
to new reality?
God sluffs off the old and familiar
so I can discover beneath the crust
the fresh, the new
and in the shattering of a dream
awaken to new visions.
I am wrong to resist change:
it is my friend and sent
as God's instrument to teach me
to bend with the wind
and lean in another direction.
A stream encountering stones
in its onward flow
instinctively will know
it must find a new channel
and joyously go
on its way
in rippling expectancy.
So I shall welcome change
as a clean slate
a fresh breath
a cool breeze
an untried path
a stimulation to renewal
and an opportunity