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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
January 28, 1994     The Message
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January 28, 1994
 

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0 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana To give up control is to gain control* Living in America in these times is frustrating. Every day there is news about another drive- by shooting or other random act of violence. Each article on the edito- rial page seems to have a different solution with the writer advocat- ing a particular favorite theme. What can be done about crime, violence, health care, schools, lack of morality, etc.? Why doesn't someone do something instead of just studying it and talking about it? These thoughts occupied my mind as I was taking a walk one weekend afternoon. "Why so glum?" came the voice from the side of the road. I looked over and saw all elderly gentleman sitting on a log. He was a neighborhood resident whom I knew only slightly. I sat down next to him, and told him what I had been thinking. When I asked him if" he had any advice for me, he looked at me and Said, "why don't you change?" At first I thought he hadn't heard me or mis- understood what I had said. When I didn't reply, he repeated his statement: "Why don't you change?" I then proceeded to explain to him that I wasn't the cause of any of these problems and I thought he was telling the wrong person to change. He held up his hand to interupt my lengthy response and started to explain. To be willing to change without outside pres- sure, he said, is the hardest thing an individual can accomplish in a lifetime. Change that is forced can either be accepted or rejected, but usually there is a penalty for rejecting it. If the highway department lowers the speed limit and I do not change my speed to comply I will pay a penalty. If the penalties are severe enough behavioral changes can be elicited. Even if people comply it doesn't mean that they accept the change. They By ZIBA GRAHAM I just accept the behavior that pro- tects them from the penalty. The biggest obstacle to change is that at first it doesn't seem to make sense. Why would people want to change if they don't see themselves as part of the problem? The typical response is that someone else is the problem. This feeling of not being part of the problem or any problem is rooted in pride. "I don't have a problem." "I don't need to change." "Everything in my life is O.K." This is pride speaking. Another barrier to change is imagining what we will be like after the change. "Will I have to give up TV?" "Will my relationships change?" Fear of the unknown is very powerful. In fact, the great- est fear of all is fear of losing control. How does change ever happen? Most often a person must be truly desperate. Sickness, impend- ing death, addiction, depression, and extreme fam- ily problems often must be present to make a per- son want to change, and then it is often in the form of bargaining with God. Situations such as these led to the saying: "When you get to your wits end, there is where God resides." Why is it that we can accept illness which we cannot change but we cannot accept an invitation to forgive another when we can change. A woman who was destitute, when asked why she was so bit- ter toward her relatives replied, "they took every- thing awayfrom me and now all I have left is my hatred" (for them). How do you lead yourself to want to change when things are going reasonably well? To even start to think about changing when we aren't forced to means that we have to realize that we all are part of the problem. Once we admit to being part of the and have accepted it fully, the next question how and what should I change? The good that you don't have to know the question. The one who made you knows that and he is the only one. Simply tell you want to change and he will do great mosaic of life, only he knows where J fit best. We are all different shapes we only know what shapes and colors If we are blue, maybe instead of trying the brown chips next to us, we should Lord to put us with the other blue plete his picture. To put oneself into God's hands ing step. It is a feeling of being trol. But, like so many things Jesus about, to give up control is to gain of us who have been trying to run way and haven't done a very : message of freedom. Jesus said, "Come to me and I will[ rest--all of you who work so hard yoke. Wear my yoke--for it me teach you; for I am gentle and shall find rest for your souls; for I give light burdens (Matthew 11:28 journeys the first step is the made, Jesus will take it from t With that statement I could tell tute and thoughtful neighbor had story. I thanked him for his wise advice, tinued on my way with many new ...... think and committments to make. i: T: Winners Members of the third and fourth grade girls basketball teams at Holy Redeemer Church, Evansville, finished first and second in their season tournament. TFs Box 68 Montgomery, Indiana Donald ]. Traylor President AUTOTOPS 'STEREO SALES& HWY 50 EAST, "Where customers Open nightly ti! hop & OLD US 231 SOUTH - JASPEN, IN "" Did You Know: OLDS CIERA is most trouble free car made in ! Medical Arts Pharmacy 3700 Bellemeade Avenue Phone 477-1532 Donald Gutzweiler City-Wide Delivery Duncan's Riverside Pharmacy Prescription Service Drugs - Sundries - Cosmetics Magazines - "We Deliver" Corner Riverside and Governor Evansville 422-9981 Stratman's Pharmacy City-Wide Delivery 413 Locust Street John and Judy Stratman 425-5293 paul 2107 Oak Hwy. LARRY