Five Keys to Navigating Change Webinar


Transcript:

So welcome again to our mental health webinar here. We are gonna talk about Five Keys to Navigating Change. And Ted Witzig, counselor has joined me. Matt Kaufmann, my colleague is in the background. As we walk through this important topic, and it’s a big topic, Ted, it’s a topic that we could spend a lot of time on.

And it’s a topic, I think, that all of us have some level of experience with, I mean, change happens to all of us and, I will just say this, you’ve got an image of a bridge here. And, maybe it’s my issue but, every time I cross a bridge you’re going from something that’s settled to something that’s not too settled on the other side, but there’s that in between spot.

Yeah. And if it’s a big bridge and if it’s like far up or a big river or something, there’s always like a little bit of my mind in the middle of it. I’m like, This is like an act of faith, right? I there’s faith in the engineers. There’s faith in the concrete. Yeah, there’s faith in the cables, that this thing’s gonna hold together.

As I’m going to cross that, it’s just an unsettled time. And I think it’s a great metaphor for change in general. And the impact it can have on us. As we walk through this, tell me what you think,Ted, is that, am I crazy or what have you seen? Well, I’m not sure how you want me to comment on your mental health there or not ,Arlan, but, as a coworker, but, I would say this, that a bridge is a good, metaphor for change and transition.

We’re gonna talk about it about navigating change today, but change in itself has some other associated concepts with it. And one is transitions and one is losses. One is unsettledness. I mean, so there’s a variety of other concepts that are right on the edges of navigating change.

That’s a great point. And, just for clarification, I think today we’re gonna talk about, and you’ll see it here on the first slide. We’re gonna really get into this idea of how do we have a sense of stability in the midst of it? We’re not gonna try to avoid it. We’re not gonna try to talk about how to have good change versus bad change, but more of like, how do we stabilize ourselves or just navigate it in the midst of it.

So five concepts, learning about change, knowing the role of control, pay attention to your thinking, the biopsychosocial spiritual model, and then rest in Christ as a solid rock. You know, the five concepts we’re gonna walk through one at a time with several points with that. Anything else, Ted, on this or are you ready to dive right into this? Ready to dive? All right. So, the first thing as we think about here is just this idea of change. And I think it’s worth bearing that not all change is the same. Some of you submitted questions as you registered, which we really appreciate.

And some of our, some very specific type situations that maybe you’re going through or someone you know is going through. And that’s all very real and relevant. And I think the principles we talk about will maybe touch base on some of those. But we’re gonna stay at a little bit of a higher level because there’s just some general ideas here to really get into.

So, Ted, start off here. Change is not all the same and yet there’s some things to be said about change. So, teach us about change. That’s correct. So a couple things, one of the ways to think about it is we’re, that all of us are going through many kinds of change at the same time.

Oftentimes, when there’s a big thing going on societally, like with the pandemic here or when there’s a big change in our lives, like a marriage or a move, or something like that, we’re very aware of change, but change is going on at multiple levels all the time. And so I think one of the things that I find very interesting about change is people will sometimes say I don’t like change, or I like change.

And what I wanna do today is I want you to kind of think about that a little bit differently because all of us like some changes and all of us try to push against other kinds of changes and there’s reasons for that. And I’d like to go through those. The first kind of thing that I wanna say is that not all change is the same based on its impact or its size.

So if you give a change a score like from zero to a hundred, okay, let’s say death of a spouse who’s been your spouse for 60 years. That’s a big, big change. The fact that Walmart changed the packaging on the kind of cheese you buy, that’s a change, but it’s a two, that kind of a thing.

The other thing is the impact of change can be stressful and cumulative. One of the associated concepts to change is stress. The interesting thing is not all change is stressful. Okay. But some change is very stressful. And so that’s kind of an interesting thing, like for example, I need to go and get a couple new suits.

I’m actually looking forward to getting my new suits. I haven’t gotten some for a little while I’m looking forward to it. I’m not stressed by it. I’ve actually kind of been thinking about what I’m gonna do. And so, you know what, I see that as very not stressful and I’m actually looking forward to it, but it’s a change.

The other thing to remember is that sometimes good change things like getting married or having a baby is positive, but it’s still stressful. The other thing is stress is oftentimes cumulative or change can be cumulative. And this we’ve really seen in the last couple of years, when you put things like pandemic changes on top of things people have been experiencing in their jobs and families, and then how the church responds or these different things.

So what happens is it’s not one, it feels like multiple at the same time. The interesting part is, as we deal with changes, those feel, they sometimes feel bigger and bigger and bigger. So, sometimes what’s very interesting is maybe that next little change that comes on this pile is the two point change.

But if it’s on some other things that feel big already, that two point change just feels really big. Sure. And, really, it’s not that big, but because it’s on top of this other stuff that two point change feels ginormous and that’s really important. And that’s why we have to understand how we are each processing it. The other thing is change in one area of life can impact another area. So you might be having really things might be really steady at work, but things are not steady at home. And so it affects what’s going on at home. It can affect your work and vice versa. So, here’s the interesting thing.

When people say they like change or don’t like change what the key is to remember is people pursue, or at least don’t resist change that involves perceived benefit. This is key. Whenever I hear people say, I don’t like change, or I like change, you have to remember, there’s perceived benefit over here. And then the next question is a perceived loss.

Okay. Because we tend to resist change that has perceived loss or feared loss. This is crucial because at the end of the day. You know what, when you need to, if you’re going to a new job and you’re looking forward to that, okay. That’s wonderful. If you’re going to a new job and you’re dreading it, you see what happens? And so, it’s really important and, I would say as a counselor, one of the things that I do when I hear people say something like I do not like change, the question I ask in my head is what loss are they perceiving or feeling, okay. What do they feel like they’re losing

And so like, when something happens organizationally, like in the church, when COVID happens and we don’t have, or things move around or whatever, one of the things that happens in people’s minds is for some, something is viewed as non-threatening, oh, we need to do this temporarily, or we’re gonna make this and it’s fine it seems like perceived benefit. Well, for somebody else, that very same thing is calculated in their mind as perceived loss. And so that’s how one person can look at it. They look at the very same thing and look at it. One sees perceived benefit or perceived loss, and they will respond very differently.

I could also see benefit, Ted, tell me if I’m wrong here, but just that whole idea. This is really helpful to think about that not all change is the same and that idea of change is cumulative and the impact it has as it just plays out in different areas of your life. So just almost this idea of writing down, what are the changes that I’m walking through and just being aware of that.

And, giving yourself grace in the midst of what can be a lot of small changes, but realize that they’ve built up to a lot of that unsteadiness. Or unstableness within your life. No question. I think that’s a good thing, Arlan, to be able to note the kind of changes that are going on, the kinds of things, because the other part about this is it takes a different amount of time to adjust to certain changes.

Okay. I mean, you know what, I’d like to go get those new suits. It’s gonna take me a time to go get measured and fitted and stuff like that. But after that, I’m just gonna wear ’em and it won’t be long and I’ll forget that it was a new suit and it has very little emotional impact on me and things of that nature. A different change, like a loss of a spouse, getting married, moving across the country, children moving out of the home, going into empty nest, those kind of things. Now we’re talking, I’m in a new period. I’ve never been in this before. Yeah. I’m not sure how it goes, you know, those kind of things. Yeah. So, there’s probably a level of, and maybe this gets into the next slide a little bit, but there’s a level maybe suddenness and dramaticness and how tragic that is.

There’s a level of how long ongoing it is. Yeah. And that two point versus nine point level change, though all those things factor into the equation, don’t they? They do. So, if you look, I kind of alluded to the next slide there, you see some of these different factors here, you know, all of these things view a, how do we view change?

Well, it depends on what you mean by change. Speak to maybe a few of these. I think some of them are a little bit self-explanatory. It’s anticipated or unanticipated, developmental. What’s that, whether some of these other ones that we’re watching. So, developmental changes are things like we anticipate that people are gonna go through, when your high schooler is, you know, a junior, they’re starting to think about driving and they’re starting to think about what they’re gonna do for a career. And if they’re gonna move away to college, and these are all changes and they’re anticipated changes and they’re not unexpected at all. They’re normal. That doesn’t mean they’re easy.

Every, almost every child is gonna go through a time of this independence, dependence, conflict. Like, it’s that whole thing of like, I don’t want you to ask me where I’ve been or what I’m doing, but can I have $20 for gas? You know, the independence, dependence conflict, very developmental, very normal, uncomfortable, but it’s not unexpected. But there’s, that’s also true in so many things because in everything that we do new, in everything,

okay, and, please correct me if you can think of something, cuz I’ve not been able to identify it, in everything that we do new, we start off as a novice. And then we move towards experience. Doesn’t matter if we’re talking about parenting, Sunday School teaching, being a minister, being an elder, doesn’t matter if we’re talking about being accountant or playing an instrument, we start off as a novice and we move toward experience and you know what?

Most of us really struggle against the feeling of being a novice. And, so one of the things about learning about change is giving yourself grace to be a novice. I can remember, and of course, I just remember when Donna and I had our twin girls 21 years ago and we were getting plenty of advice.

Okay. You know how that has people and it wasn’t bad. It was, but lots of advice and people say, oh, well, you’re doing that just because it’s your first, but when it’s your, you know, oh yeah, I did that when it was my first, but I did. And I remember saying to somebody, you know what, let me be a first time dad.

I’m a first time dad, you know, and this is how I’m gonna do first time, dad. I just, I didn’t fight against it. You know what, you’ve had a lot more experience than I do, but I’m a first time dad. Another thing, and we’re gonna talk about the level of control, the next slide or two, so I’m gonna keep going. There’s tangible and ambiguous changes. So let me think an ambiguous change is when I start to lose independence. Okay. So, one of the things that happens is as people age, and then they go to a thing where their mobility, their independence, or they need to ask for additional assistance.

That loss of independence is difficult. Sometimes one of the things that happens is that when, this happens oftentimes more with men, but it can happen with men and women, but at retirement, sometimes the who I am changes. Okay. You know, wait a minute. I lived, I worked my, I worked the last 40 years so I could get to retirement.

And now I don’t know who I am at retirement. I don’t like it. You know, that kind of thing. When I say solitary versus social things, some things are going on inside of ourselves. You know what you, the Lord might be working on something inside of you that only the Lord and you know about, okay.

That might be working on bitterness. It might be working on just a layer of trust with him, or it could be social. And that social could be in your family, could be in your church, an organization, or it could be societal. But I just wanted to highlight here this last thing, when change touches your identity, your values, or your attachments, like the connection between a husband and wife or a child and a daughter.

Identity values and attachments are particularly hot when it comes to when it comes to change. Those kinds of things are gonna tend to radiate stronger. Okay. And, understandably so, because they’re more core to ourself, they’re gonna be more at that eight or nine level they’re gonna just, yeah.

Okay. Exactly. Exactly. So we have to understand and it’s very interesting too, because oftentimes when two people are looking at change and particularly in something that creates a values based change, like if it’s a change they see in the, something in a practice, or how something’s done at work, or we’ve always done it this way or something at church or family, When that changes if one person sees this as core to who I am kind of change and another person just sees it as a, oh, this just makes sense. This is kind of like A plus B equal C oh, this is do that. And it’s not core to their identity. They’re talking about the same change, but they’re feeling it very differently.

And so one of the best things we can do when we try to understand one another is understand at what level this change is touching. Sure. Yeah. That makes lot, go ahead, Ted. I was just gonna mention, this last resource just here. Just, if you haven’t read this little book and it’s a little book called Who Moved My Cheese and it’s a parable about four mice, a couple mice and a couple little people.

And they were looking for cheese and the cheese changed and all these different things. But it’s a parable about how different kinds of people handle change and about adjusting to it. And I think that, even though it’s very simple, it does a nice job of laying out some of the different principles about how we either fear change, how resist change, how we adapt to change, those kind of things.

Yeah. The great points to the only thing that came to my mind is you were talking there. So it’s almost like, you know, as we take, if I take myself at a point in time, there’s all these changes going on. And there’s kind of this formula, this equation that develops this to, you know, what level and all the, how they’re in a plane and all that kind of a but if some of those changes also impact somebody else, they’re coming into the, with their own equation level there too. Yeah. And just realizing that dynamic and how that interplay is. Oh yeah. It’s easy to take, you know, maybe then I think we get into this later, but kind of conflict personal, but to force yourself to this level of like, understanding, to say, Hey, there’s a lot going on.

There’s a lot more going on underneath the surface than what we give ourselves credit for. Yeah. And other people credit for. Do you know one of the things, one of the ways I think that’s really helpful to think about when you think about it, and you take what you’re feeling and sensing about all these different things going on.

Then you kind of, then imagine a string going from your heart to the other person’s heart. Okay. So if there’s two people, there’s just a one string in between your heart. So there’s three people. Now there’s a string going in between each of our hearts and there’s four. And then you start just, you take that church of a hundred, you know, 50 people, a hundred people, 150, 400 people.

You take a denomination, you take a country and you look at all these different strings and potential interactions. All of a sudden you go, wow, that’s a lot of interactions. Yeah. And it’s no wonder, there’s no wonder that people respond with some reactivity, but that’s the neat part, understanding this can help lower our reactivity.

It doesn’t change. It sometimes feels uncomfortable, but it can lower our reactivity. Sure. Yeah. And let’s go on. Let’s continue on here to the next level and we’ll talk about now the second point, just this idea of control, which was one of the aspects of change, but I think it’s a really important one to drill deeper.

So control is the amount of perceived control we have and the amount of control over situation we have. It definitely impacts how we respond and just both internally and externally. So, dig into that, Ted, I’m sure you’ve seen this situation over and over again in your experiences and personally, too.

How does control impact us in this scenario? The reason that I highlighted here the role of control and particularly perceived control is because it really helps us to identify how much, how invested we are in the outcome of something. And so I wanna give you an idea about the difference between control and perceived control.

So, when tax time comes, for example, Donna and I go to our tax preparer, we have an accountant that has done our taxes our whole time we’ve been married. I don’t know how to, I’ve never, and somebody you’ll be aghast at this, and some of you won’t care. But I just, I’ve never done my taxes. I don’t ever wanna learn how to do my taxes.

I just, it something for whom I am very willing to give up the control of figuring out all these different things. At the end of it, I sit there, I hand him some receipts. I hand him some different things. He puts stuff in the computer. He plunks it out. He tells you where to sign and how much to write a check for.

And you know what? I have surrendered control. In fact, I have paid him to have control and knowledge and all these things and you know what I feel good about it. Now there’s other things, Arlan, that if I don’t have my fingers in, and if I can’t be on the pulse of, and if I can’t be working on the wording on this exact sentence, I will feel very much out of control.

And I will feel very much like, this is bad, this is bad. So, what’d you put there and what, you know, so the point here is perceived control is more important than control. And, I think the thing about it is that when we feel low in control and we don’t like that. Okay.

All right. Cuz see, when I give my accountant control, when I give him all the numbers and I let him into that part of my life, I have surrendered that control, but I did it voluntarily. But when something happens and I feel low in control, our first response as a human being is oftentimes to gain that control back.

And when we lose it fast, we often try to regain it fast. Okay. And what happens is, as human beings, we will oftentimes even seek to control things that aren’t directly related to what’s out of control if we can’t, but we will seek to do that anyway. And, I’ve seen this and you’ve seen this, we’ve all experienced this, but this happens over and over in life.

It’s happened very much in the last couple of years, as there’s been many things, as things have opened and closed, as there’s been changes in families and businesses and policies and at governmental levels and societal levels and church levels and family levels. One of the things that happens then is when I can’t directly control that, my tendency, your tendency, our tendency is to seek some kind of control expression. Okay. Now there are healthier and unhealthier ways to do that. And, well, yeah, go ahead. And, what I’m hearing and where my mind goes, you’ve seen probably those little pendulum things, you know, where you have the ball sitting on the strings, right.

You take, and it’s always that opposite that every action is opposite reaction type thing. And so the stronger the change or sense of out of control or the, how that happened leads often, or can lead them to a stronger reaction. Yes. On the other which again, gives me a little bit of empathy when I think about, when I see some reactions out there, I’m like, okay, something’s going on? You know, under the surface. That’s correct. I think one of the things to remember in that is when you see a strong, when you feel a strong reaction in yourself, okay. Or you see one that you, and as somebody else that you go, that’s out of proportion to what’s happening here.

Okay. You’re like, whoa, that’s, you know, I thought that was a two and they responded at a 10, you know? And you’re like, what just happened here? It’s often time it’s touch it’s signal that something’s touching there. I would like to highlight specifically how the use of anger as a way to experience getting control back is very common for human beings.

Anger is an emotion. It oftentimes says there is a problem. It says there’s a problem here. And it oftentimes pushes against, okay, something that is that we perceive as wrong. Now sometimes like if I see if I see a teenager trip another child and then push his books into the mud, and I say, Hey, you, okay, I’m reacting against some unrighteous acts and I wanna protect somebody. But here’s one of the things that happens, when we feel things are out of control, okay. It’s very easy to start using anger and particularly labeling as a way to gain a sense of control. If I don’t know what to do, or if I think I know what to do by at least knowing who my enemy is.

Okay. I at least now am able to go, okay. I have some sense of what the teams are. And when I know the teams I at least know who’s the good side. Okay. Now it’s very interesting because almost everybody that use and I’m gonna include us cuz we can, any of us can do that when we label with anger,

okay, one of the most interesting things about that is we always end up on the good team and you know, what’s also interesting? We always end up with God on our team. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. That’s a very interesting thing about human beings. I mean, it’s just always that way. It’s like God is on this team.

The good people are on this team. The bad people are over there. Sure. Now, and I’m not saying that there aren’t there isn’t good and bad in the world. I’m not trying to make that argument, but I’m just saying when we feel that. And so what ends up happening is things that aren’t about good and bad necessarily turn into moral issues really quickly. Yeah. And so you’ve seen that with the whole pandemic, you see you’re on this side or this side you’re this, and what starts to happen is instead of being able to see people like God sees people. Souls. Okay. Yeah. He sees souls, we start the label start that we start to see enemies or great point.

Let’s keep going here. Just this next little piece here. So, you bring out this aspect here that when we intentionally release control and surrender, we rest in faith. Yeah. And then a couple of definitions here that I think are really healthy, uncertainty and caring because we use those terms.

And, I think it’s good to kind of drill deeper there. So, go at it, Ted, drill deeper here a little bit for us. And so how we should view these two terms. So one of the things that we’re often most struggling against when we’re dealing with change is the feeling of uncertainty as human beings, uncertainty tends to just be unsettling.

Okay. So we oftentimes accidentally gain a, it’s a false formula, but we spiritually make a false formula in our head and it’s this, that I feel faith when I feel certain, okay. When things feel really rock solid to me, I feel faith and I’ve got it. It’s all. I’ve got it. And, we really need to understand that uncertainty is unpleasant.

We go in and out of uncertainty, but faith is trusting God through uncertainty. Okay. In the hall of faith, in Hebrews chapter 11, every one of the people that was counted faithful went from something that they knew, a familiar place, through an uncertain place. Okay. And they were counted faithful.

Why? Because they trusted God through the uncertain place. Doesn’t matter if we’re talking about Joseph, doesn’t matter if we’re talking about Abraham, doesn’t matter if they’re talking about you or me. It’s that. So uncertainty is oftentimes seen as the worst enemy. And I would say uncertainty is uncomfortable, but it gives us an opportunity to practice faith.

Sure. Hearing then is one of the reasons that people feel like they can’t surrender. Okay. I care. And if I care, I have to kind of stay revved. Okay. I care about what’s happening in the church. Therefore I have to stay pent up. Okay. I care about my, I care about my unconverted coworker. I, therefore I have to, I can’t sleep.

No. Okay. I care about what’s going on in the country related to X, Y, or Z. I have to stay reved. No. Caring is not the same thing as worrying. Okay. Or being overwhelmed by what isn’t under control. It’s wonderful to care that is loving. It can be kind. It can be, you know, all those things, staying revved and amped up is a symptom that I am trying to control something that’s out of my control.

Now we do that as human beings. I’m not please don’t anybody hear this as a correction that you’re like bad if you feel pent up about something that you can’t control. Especially, I remember when I was gonna have my heart surgery, I was the most anxious just prior to my heart surgery that I had ever been in 20 years.

Okay. And I knew that I was in God’s hands and all those things, I was just, but it was still so out of my control. Okay. So we have to keep focusing back on things that are in our sphere of influence and that leads us to our resource here. And that’s a circle of concern. Circle of influence.

Yeah. This is a key concept. We wanna take some time digging into this and this is, you’ve maybe seen this out here and we talk about often and it isn’t original to us by any means. Yeah. But you’ve got these two circles. I’ll start here, Ted, and I want you to color commentary, you’ve got these two circles, you’ve got the larger circle, the circle of concern, which is that 100% of things that concern you in life, the things that just come across your radar that are just you hear about, and they’re just, they’re out there and there’s a level of concern there, care. And then there’s always a smaller circle in there about what you can actually do something about. Cuz there’s a lot of things there in our life that we don’t have any control over, but that smaller circle that about 10%, you know, usually it’s just a rough number, is that circle of influence. Now, Ted, how do we process through this or how do we practically think about this in our lives? What implications does it have, especially in this area of change? One of the things that I love about this and what I, and it is very important to see what we’re not saying with this is, we’re not trying to say, oh, it just, you know, there’s just nothing you can control in life.

We’re actually, this is actually a circle that these, this graph can help us figure out what is our stewardship before God. God does not ask us to do what we can’t do. He wants us to do what we can do empowered by him. Okay. And so many people spend their 90% of their time in the 90% of their lives they can’t control the things that they can’t control.

And, so what they do, they’re ruminating, that’s playing things over and over having difficulty letting go, you know, well, this shouldn’t happen. This shouldn’t happen. What about this? And what if this happens in 10 years? Those are all things. And again, you can pray about those things. And again, you can care about those things, but to stay amped and revved up about the things that are out there that are beyond our control, leads us to feeling out of control.

Then what it will do. It leads us to try to control things. Remember we learned about it earlier. Then we try to exert control in other places, which oftentimes doesn’t help. So the goal is to spend 90% of your time in that 10%. Now one of the things is that you could, that this is where God has you.

You are where God has you in life right now. And even if you’re somewhere in between right now in a transition. Where you are is what God or what God wants you to be a steward of what he’s given you, your time, your talents, the relationships, et cetera. It’s what you can actually do empowered by him.

And that’s what he expects of you, not more. He does not expect, Arlan, he does not expect you to figure out North Korea’s nuclear missiles. He does not expect you of that. Now you wanna pray about that. That’s fine. But the thing about it is if you lay awake at night, think about North Korea, okay, and then you have a horrible day tomorrow, and you’re not able to go to work and focus on your and your family and your work. You’re focusing on the circle of concern, not your circle of influence. And, the challenge is to leave our circle of concern up to God. And I will tell you that all of us know this is true, but we have trouble practicing it is true. We understand that things that are outside of our control are God’s. And then, you know what we say? This is what I tell the Morton church this all the time. I say, I don’t wanna be God, I want to be his chief of staff though. Yeah. I wanna tell him, Hey God, this is what we’re doing today.

And God has for my whole life said to me, Ted, thanks for your offer. But no, thanks. I’m God, I’ve got this. You be you. Okay. You go, I’ll empower you to do what you need to do. You let me be God. Yeah, it’s not saying to totally ignore them or deny that that stuff’s in our concern and make it, try to make it go away that way.

But we properly, we pray. We release it. We give it over and we fixate on those things that are actually within our control. Our stewardship. Yes, definitely. That actually speaks, I think, to the next point. Let’s go on to the next point. We’re on now 0.3, we’ve talked about the different types of change and think about change.

We’ve talked about the level of control and its impact. And now we’re gonna talk about this thinking. They’re the voices that are inside of our head. And, we often have, we all have a lot of things going on in our head, a lot of voices in there. And I think one of the things that we’ll find in society today is that there is just a lot of noise coming in and often it’s noise about those areas that are outside of our control, if we’re not careful.

And, suddenly I’m supposed to be worried about these things happening on the other side of the world, which I have no control over. And it can be a real interesting dynamic. I find myself playing out, playing in there. I, you know, how do we work on this Ted? What are some of the things that we do to kind of help think about our thinking and then put our thinking in the right perspective?

Yep. The first thing to remember is an overloaded mind tends to handle change poorly. And the reason is there’s just so many, so much noise and so many things bouncing back and forth, we’re not able to discern proper priorities on each thing. Okay, because we’re so worried about so many things.

So I am, the focus here is to periodically turn off the noise, or if turning off is, we could turn things off for periodically, but oftentimes I would encourage this to turn down the volume or turn down the amount. Okay. Hey, you know what, social media, is a way to see what’s going on with your friends and family, on my Instagram feed, I have beautiful nature pictures that come in that I love.

I just love to look at the mountains and the rivers and the streams and I, and it’s calming to me, but you know what, so just like it could be, these things can be used for good. They can be, they could just be agitating. Okay. News is another thing. It’s one thing to be informed. It’s another thing to be consumed.

Okay. And, what I would encourage is to say, it’s one thing to know enough or adequate. And, I think one of the things that happens is what has, what is occurring more and more, and, is that there it is flooding or an emotional flooding caused by continual exposure.

And, this was first I wanna highlight this. It’s kind of interesting thing. This was first really identifiedback at 9/11. Okay. In 2001, when they realized that people were watching the 9/11 catastrophe over and over and over again, you know, the towers came down and all that thing, you know, this is 20 years ago, you know, but they really realized that like people were getting traumatized by how much that they were watching of a traumatic event.

Now, again, I’m not trying to tell somebody that they should never watch what happened at 9/11 or whatever, but being consumed by what happened, then it just overwhelms the system. Another one is just negative people around you. Do you know what? There is time that you need to limit.

And again, I’m not trying to tell you to cut off contact with people or just cut ’em outta your life. But I am trying to say that, you know, there’s some people in your. You know, every time you talk to ’em, you’re gonna get 20 minutes of a story about how the world is going down the tubes. And you know what?

You don’t have to rehash the story again with negativity. Another thing, just too many activities. The fact is we are designed by God to be in a rhythm time on, time off, time to work, time to rest, time to have activities, time to sleep, time to be with many people, time to be alone. And, quite frankly, we don’t do well at rhythms.

We’re kind of in this on until we get maxed out, then we go off and then we go on until we go off and God built us to do rhythms. Another one and periodically turning onto the noise inside of our head, okay, negative self-talk. Some people say to me, oh, I’m just a worrier. I’ve always been a worrier.

Like it’s. Well, yeah, that might be, but then I ask a question. Have you ever tried to learn different self-talk have you ever practiced new self-talk? Well, no, I’m just a worrier. No, let’s learn how to counteract that. What ifs are very common with change? When we don’t know, remember that bridge, we talked about the, at the very beginning of the transition bridge, we know one side well, but the other side we don’t.

And so what if thinking always thinks about the disaster that’s coming. Okay. And it always looks at life through the lens of a slippery slope. Okay. Oh man. You know what happens? This happens, then this happens. Next thing you know, it’s, you know? Yeah. Yeah. We’re all baked. Another one, and these last two are just lack of thankfulness and not keeping an eternal perspective.

These are very interesting because these are about highlighting positives. Thankfulness is about both big things and small things. But the eternal perspective is about realizing that we live in a temporary world for an eternal world at the same time. And both of those are real. And, as human beings, we do not do good at going back and forth or keeping that dual vision, not double vision.

I’m not talking about be blurry here. Sure, sure. But, knowing that I live today for my tomorrow, and shifting is really a key here. Yeah. So, I think, I mean, great layout there. So many voices, so much volume coming in there. And then to some extent we can turn down the volume, but we probably can’t completely eliminate it.

Yeah. So there’s another skill we have to really think into. And this skill I know we’ve talked about before and in different ways is this idea of shifting focus or just figuring out a way to shift focus. So you’ve got some verses here on the next slide, Ted, walk through what it would be like to use a verse like this, and maybe we all have our favorite verses.

Yeah. But just to use it, to shift our thinking, to a more eternal perspective. Yes. So, the first one there in Proverbs 3 for, as you think in his heart, as he thinks in his heart, so is he. I think you need to remember, we all need to remember that our thinking is key to how we’re gonna be our emotions.

And, I don’t mean it like this. I don’t mean like, Hey, you know, I’m gonna think like a billionaire and I’m gonna be a billionaire, you know, next week, but it’s this thing of, if I’m going, oh no, the world, you know what? I’m very vulnerable and the world is crushing down and this is all gonna go horrible.

Guess what? I’m gonna be anxious. That’s not a, it’s not a surprise. The Scripture says so, experience will tell you this. So that’s why it’s a, just a reminder that we need to be rooted in something else. Philippians 4:8 the third verse there talks about just practicing, thinking about the things that are true and honest, pure, and lovely and good report.

It talks about specifically thinking towards something. And that’s why, when I think of these verses in Colossians 2, it says rooted and built up in him, stablished in the faith as you’ve been taught abounding in thanksgiving, to remember, I get up today and you know what, let’s start with something.

Let’s start with, I get up today, starting with my name is written in the Book of Life. Oh, Hey, you know what? My name’s written in the Book of Life. I’m established in that. And I’m gonna be thankful today that I can serve him today. Now, okay, God, now, where do we go from here? Okay. Cuz I can also get up in the morning and go, oh, another day that doom is just one, one phone call away for me.

Okay. And, the fact is the many of the outside voices, some of the inside voices are about that second part of Colossians 2:8 there beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit after the tradition of men after the rudiments of this world and not after Christ. There’s so many solutions in the world. Everybody’s got a book, everybody’s got a solution.

Everybody’s gotta think, but you know what? We have to stay rooted on the foundation of Christ. And then lastly, speaking to ourselves, dwelling richly in Christ psalms, hymns, spiritual songs, it’s about teaching admonishing. It’s about the word and truth being poured over our minds again and again. And I think there’s a practical point you shared there, Ted, you know, this idea that I think sometimes we think it’s just, we just try to just stop it or just stop thinking about something and the quickest way to think about something is to stop trying to think about it. Right. Cause it just gets in there. Right. And so the concept is to shift.

It’s why the Scripture always talks about put off and put on it. Isn’t just put off, it’s also put on yeah. Fill yourself with those other things. And then therefore there’s not as much space, for the other piece. Now on this next slide, you’ve got several very practical ideas to just implement, to just think about your thinking.

We’ll kind of go quickly through those. Yeah. And then move on to our last couple of points. So I would encourage you to do, and I encourage myself in this is to have some technology free, quiet time. And, why technology free is just because of the interruptions and because of the, because you can’t necessarily stop when that next text is coming in or the next notification. Another one is just to practice prayerfulness.

You know what, most of our listeners are gonna know the importance of the Word, and they’re gonna know the importance of prayer, but I’m gonna, I’m gonna also guess that most of the listeners are like me, is that at the end of the day, we will worry more than we pray. Okay. We will spend more time figuring out how we’re gonna solve a problem than taking it to God and meditating on the Word.

That’s just, that’s our nature as human beings. I’m not meaning to shame anybody. But I’m gonna say like meditate on God and his Word. I was just thinking about those verses on that slide prior, what I need to do tonight and is just take those four verses, sit in my chair, okay. And I just need to read those verses and sit with those verses for about 10 minutes, that just the quiet, just sit with those verses and just dwell with Christ richly.

And, just to let him just let him fill my heart and do nothing, not solve anything, not fix anything, not change anything, but dwell with Christ. Another one is keep a good things, the music, singing, those kind of things coming in. Intentionally bringing gratitude up. There’s been much psychological research.

I love it when psychology catches up with the Bible. That happens over and over in my career. I find these times when the newest research is one of the newest things in the last, five or 10 years has really been gratitude and gratitude journaling and things like this. And you know what they find, guess what?

This is gonna be shocking to our audience. And that is that when we express gratitude, okay. To God, to other people that it boosts our mood and it blesses other people, are you shocked? I’m not shocked, but you know what? Guess what? We’re oftentimes we miss the opportunities to do that.

And then we focus on the things that aren’t right. Lastly, this concept of staying in the present moment. Okay. Our minds do a bad job of staying today. Okay. I want you to think about this. God gave the Israelites manana for when? Today. He gave them manana for today. I know one day, the day before the Sabbath, he gave two days, but he gave them bread for today.

We’re supposed to thank God for what? Our daily bread. You know what we’re trying to figure out? We’re constantly trying to figure out what’s gonna go on five years, 10 years from now what’s gonna. Now, it’s one thing to plan. Planning is using our mental faculties, but planning remembers that God’s grace is gonna be with us in the future. You know what? Something called future tripping is jumping into the future and then just imagining doomsday scenarios. Oh, what if this happens? Oh, what if this happens? And what if this happens? Dredging is the same way. It’s good for us to remember hard things, remembering good things.

Remembering can be a blessing, but dredging? Dredging is attaching ourselves to the disasters of the past and those kind of things. And, it really, really unsettles us. Sure. So you’ve got a couple of resources here and all these things can be helpful. Just disciplines to build in, to help us think about the thinking that is affecting how we are navigating the change, how we are processing through the experiences we’re going through.

Truth Talk is a short little statement of truths. That’s that you can listen to it, or you can read it, it’s on our website. If you just would search for Truth Talk, you’ll find it. And then one of the Breaking Bread episodes we’ve done in the more recent past has been on the concept of just meditation, scriptural meditation, or sitting and dwelling with God, putting on the healthy and letting the unhealthy not have room, really not have space to have control.

Now that we’ve got about 10 minutes, we’re gonna walk through the last two concepts. They go a little bit more quickly, as they get into these areas, but they really speak to kind of our more of a foundational level. How are we processing through change? So the biopsychosocial spiritual model, remembering that in the midst of it, walk quickly through, a couple points here for us to realize about this.

Okay. So when we’re upset about things going on around us and things changing, we oftentimes omit remembering the simple things that are right in front of us. So the first thing I would remind you is that God built us in four main areas. We have a physical body, we have our emotional and psychological self.

We have our social relationships, and then we have our spiritual life, all four of those bio psychosocial, spiritual. So when times of change occur, It can disrupt our patterns of caring for these four areas. Okay. Sometimes those are short term disruptions, you know what, Hey, if the family gets the stomach flu and you know what, for the week that that’s traveling through the family, life is disrupted.

But after that, it kind of goes back to normal. Other times, it turns a really longer term patterns start to emerge out of things. And then, so that we start to neglect some of the areas. So if you go to the next slide,Arlan, one of the things that I would highlight is the larger and more disruptive a change the more we have to pay attention to the basics. So like, let’s say that there’s a tragic loss. Let’s say somebody loses a family member or a car accident for example. The fact is that shock of that. Okay. When something shocks our system, basic functioning, like eating and sleeping oftentimes is also very disrupted, right.

Then at the same time, Okay. And so, but also I will tell you this, that when something long term happens, like the pandemic, one of the things that happens is people sometimes say, well, okay, my normal is disrupted and then they’re waiting for normal to return, whatever that is there until life gets back to that.

So they go back to their habits. Well guess what? Sometimes after change, when things change, life is different and because life is different, they haven’t then re-brought those things back into their lives. Yeah. So the concept here, so for example, sleep is a big thing when it comes to just handling change well, okay. Eating is a big thing. Sometimes, when you have a big, when there’s a lot of things going on, the best thing you can do is a very small task that you can actually accomplish. Okay. So I sometimes, use this example, particularly when people are overwhelmed by things in their home and I’ll say, okay, how do you clean a sink full of dishes?

I go, I don’t know. I say you pick up the first cup. It’s one thing. It’s one thing. Now remember one last thing I wanted to say about this and I, what we can move on is that excesses lead to deprivations and deprivations lead to excesses. Let me highlight this. Excesses, like overdoing in like taking in five hours of news in a day.

Okay. An excess in one area is gonna lead to less focus in another area that needs time. Okay. So, and that same thing is true. Overeating leads to something else or, I’m too focused on this relationship and not focused enough on another. So the concept is. When we also, if you have deprivation, meaning not enough time with the Lord or not enough time of solitude, you’re gonna have excesses other places.

So the concept here is by thinking about the biopsychosocial model, we gotta go, you know what, sometimes I need to pay attention to the basics because the basics or the fundamentals are actually the building blocks that allow me to handle the other things. And that interplay is so important of how those things work together.

Right? So there’s a resource there highlighted it’s on our website that really speaks to that interplay. And just thinking about, it’s a self-awareness piece here too, you know, to realize that the disruption, that unstableness is gonna lead to disruptions, which compound themselves if we can’t get back to some of those basics.

Yes, really good counsel. The last one is a little bit of a summation, but I think it’s such a powerful one. You know, it should be first in many ways, but if we build to it resting in Christ as the solid rock, you know, and understanding a little bit of a level of where do we put our trust in? We like to say, we walk by faith.

But do we really walk by faith? Right. And you’re tested in these times of upheaval. So, build on this a little bit, Ted, and then there’s some verses to kind of dwell on here, I think a little bit, as we bring this to a close. So one of the things I wanna say here is, and I’m gonna speak to, from my own perspective here, when I go through a time of change and I feel unsettled, one of the things that I have noticed is it causes me to figure out where I’m placing my functional trust.

Like, what do I, what am I actually trusting? As opposed to saying what I wanna say that I trust. Okay. I mean, it’s kind of like me saying this, that, Hey, you know what I, I go to work because I wanna provide for my wife and I, and I do this for my wife and I do this for my wife and I do this for wife because I love my wife.

And Donna might say sometime, you’re doing all those things for me. How come you’re not spending any time with me. Okay. And so I say, but do you know? So that’s the point here, whereas our functional trust versus actual trust, we put a lot of our emphasis in our functional trust in our ability to make sense of things.

Okay. And our ability to have control of things. And the first thing I wanna say is while it’s easy to do, we really have to work at not placing our confidence in our circumstances. And part of the reason that is, is because God in the Scripture has made no effort he’s made no effort in the Scripture to make us comfortable in our circumstances.

Okay. You will not find any Scripture that, says that God is invested in us feeling comfortable in our circumstances. He is super, super invested in us resting in him, trusting in him, knowing him, believing him, believing he is with us, believing that he is empowering, us believing that his promises are true, but he is not invested in our circumstances.

Now, when I say not invested, I mean, that he is not looking for us to get secure here. He is, he’s gonna be with us in those circumstances. Don’t get me wrong. So that’s why we say Jesus Christ the same today, yesterday, and today and forever. We go wait a minute. He is the foundation. And out of that, yes, there’s gonna be times that I feel more settled and not in my circumstances. And I love to feel settled in my circumstances. So do you, we all do. It’s not wrong to want to feel settled, but I think we need to remember that God’s purpose in our growth is not to help us feel more settled in this world.

And that is that’s just very backwards to how we operate as a human being. And then I have a resource there God’s Promises to the Believer something that I put together a while back for a Bible study to just, what does God say that believers can rest in? And, I love just meditating on that because it just reminds us that there is a solid rock and the solid rock isn’t in our society. It isn’t in my bank account. It isn’t in my health and you know what? I want my stability to be in all those things. I want it to be in my society, my money, and my health. And you know what God’s saying? No, me. Yeah. If you go to that next thing, here’s just a couple of verses. You’re probably familiar with them. They’re not unfamiliar verses to many of us, but, in Philippians 3:20-21, our citizenship is in heaven. Okay. Our, conversation, our life is in heaven. from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ who shall change our lowly body to be like his glorious body by the power that enables him even to subject all things himself.

He is taking us as who we are. He’s taking us from here to there. And, that’s what we need to be thinking about. Not trying to build our kingdoms here. And then lastly, this speaks to the combination of having confidence in God and being able to bring that to each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.

Let us hold fast. The profession of our faith without wavering for he is faithful that promise to remember that God is sure. Okay. And then he says, let us provoke one another to love and good works. And, my sister, Wendy, and my brother, Andy, they’re both younger than me. They will tell you that I provoked them plenty while we were growing up and I did not provoke them to love and good works.

I was the older brother who provoked them. This means to stir up to love, to stir up, to go to for remind and to not for sake assembling together. Because why, because we need each other, I need to hear you reminded me of the truth and I need to remind you of the truth. And by doing that together, by, by speaking that, you know what, we exhort one another to remember the truth and so much more as you see the day approaching and you know, what it means is the crazier that things feel in this world, the more we that reminding each other of the truth, the more we can remind each other to rest in him.

And he’s worthy of that, no matter what the change. It really speaks to that idea of an opportunity to right. There is an opportunity for us in change to, to really have a reflection time. And none of us like that, it’s an examination time. None of us sign up for that willingly right. To kind of go in there.

And yet it’s so important for us to kind of know where we stand and how we can grow and how we can what we need in our lives. Maybe it’s each other and those voices of truth to kind of help us navigate through that in a loving and charitable way. Yes. We are right up against the top of the hour, so we wanna be mindful of our time.

Matt, you’ve been listening in the background. If there’s anything you have to share out or questions or thoughts or general observations, very open to that. If anybody, I haven’t seen anybody chat in a question, but if anybody has a burning question on their mind, we would entertain that for the next couple minutes and just extend it here a second.

Just one question. Yeah, I appreciate it, Ted. Ted, I think as I’m curious about moving forward with a new normal. What level does acceptance play in that? Is that required? Is that, how do I accept a new normal that I didn’t vote for? Yes. That went has gone against my values.

Yes. Do I pull out? Can I stay in? Is there a way? I’m just curious about moving forward? Yeah. The word acceptance is a really important thing partially because when there is change, there’s oftentimes a sense of loss in that change. Sometimes again, it’s welcome change, sometimes not, but one of the keys to loss at the end of the grief and loss cycle is this word, acceptance.

We go, what does that mean? Acceptance does not mean that we have to like each change that has occurred. Okay. That’s a really important. If it means that I have to like the fact that my spouse passed away, or I have to like the fact that I’m not have the mobility that I had or my eyesight or whatever, that’s just a like that then that’s really rough.

The flip side is what we wanna do with acceptance is be able to acknowledge reality as it is, to be able to come to acknowledge that this is where I’m at and that I can find meaning in this new place. It is hard for us because if you look at the, if you look at it. When we don’t wanna change the first thing we want is we put, we try to push against it. When we can’t and it keeps going on then one of the things that happens is we get sometimes depressed, discouraged, angry, those kind of things. But as we come to acceptance, we’re able to come to a place of settledness that says life isn’t over.

And God still put a beat in my heart and breath in my lungs. Therefore he has purpose and meaning for me. And, I need to lean into that. And, that’s where oftentimes when we think about people passing away, right after the loss, the widower, widow doesn’t know what life will be and they sometimes wonder if they’ll ever be happy again.

Okay. It will there ever be something, and you know what, that’s where grieving, and time and things to be able to come to acceptance, which means to acknowledge reality, to come to, to deal with it. But then also be able to say that there’s meaning beyond this, that and there’s purpose beyond this.

And that happens with time. It happens in different rates, but that’s the beauty of it is that God’s hand is not shortened. And in fact, one of the things as human beings, we tend to rate circumstances as good or bad. But then you asked this question, is it bad for somebody to die by crucifixion?

Is it bad to be put in a Roman jail? Well, guess what? That looks bad. But, but through the hardships, God’s grace shows things greater and that’s the hope that I would encourage people to have. Yeah, really appreciate that, Ted. Any other quick thoughts or ideas, otherwise we’ll draw this one to a close.

Thanks again for joining us on this webinar. Thank everybody. Five Keys to Navigating Change a lot covered. A lot more we could talk about just a critical area that I think all of us have some level of awareness when, and personally, as we’ve walked through it, but hopefully we’ve raised some practical tips, some important ways to think about it.

And just a level of empathy too, for each other as we walk into this area. How can we encourage ourselves, those near to us, others as we walk through change together and we point towards that more eternal perspective? As God is in control and will continue to be. And, we are thankful that we can rest on that.

Thanks, Ted, for your time. Thank you. Thanks, Matt, for joining in the back and may all of you have a blessed day.

This webinar looks at five aspects to consider when navigating through change. Ted Witzig Jr. discusses the impact which change can have on individuals and how to remain healthy and grounded in the midst of change and transition. Watch this webinar to learn more on how we can encourage ourselves and others in this area.

Five Keys to Navigating Change Webinar PPT


Further Information

Truth Talk  & Truth Talk Audio
Truth Talk is a positive thoughts generator based on Scripture that is designed to help people learn and use godly, healthy self-talk as they face their challenges. [ACCFS]

Meditation Podcast Episode
In this episode of Breaking Bread, Brian Sutter walks us through the what, why and how of meditation.

Bio-Psycho-Social-Spiritual Model
This article on the bio-psycho-social-spiritual model helps us be aware of four primary aspects of human life. Through greater understanding, we become better stewards of our lives in a God-honoring manner. [ACCFS]

God’s Promises to the Believer
This article provides the steps and the promises that God’s has given to the believer. [ACCFS]