Thriving on Chaos
By Rick Warren
— August 9, 2009
“Now your attitudes and thoughts must all be constantly changing for the better (Ephesians 4:23 LB).
Things change unpredictably today. There is no pattern to many of the changes in our world. Forecasting and long-range planning are high-risk activities now. Today we cannot guarantee more of the same of anything. About the only prediction we can safely assume is that things will change!
In this “Age of Unreason,” to use Charles Handy’s term, we must learn to think upside-down, inside-out, and backwards in order to cope with this unpredictable environment. The business writer Tom Peters calls this ability: “Thriving on Chaos.” To succeed, you must do more than cope with change, you must capitalize on it! Every change is an opportunity in disguise. Since you can’t stop change, you must learn to take advantage of it. Here are three suggestions from the Bible. 1. Keep a positive attitude toward change.
Although not all changes are good, we do have the freedom to choose our attitude. Change, even when it is negative, can be an ally if you take advantage of it and use it for good: “Now your attitudes and thoughts must all be constantly changing for the better” (Ephesians 4:23 LB). 2. Never stop learning.
Never think you know it all. Stay humble and you’ll be surprised who you can learn from—friends, neighbors, kids, employees, clients, and business competitors, etc. “The intelligent man is always open to new ideas. In fact, he looks for them” (Proverbs 18:15 LB). 3. Stay flexible!
Before glass bottles were invented, wine was kept in canteens made of animal skins. As they aged, they’d become brittle and crack from new wine that was still fermenting. Jesus once said, “You can’t put new wine in old wineskins” (Luke 5:37–39). Here was his point: When faced with change, we must adjust or we’ll explode!
Pray this: “Dear God, help me be more flexible this week.”