Some Things Never Change

“Some things never change.” Perhaps you have heard that said of someone or something that continues on, unaltered by time. I have often heard it used in a complaining tone in relation to a person whose lifestyle stubbornly remains unchanged regardless of the consequences to others. We all have those kinds of people in our lives. “If they would just change,” we think, “maybe they would be a better witness.” But regardless of how we think others should change, we can all agree on one thing: there are things in our own lives and hearts that we wish we could change – bad habits, selfishness, pride, and more. Personal change seldom comes with ease. One writer states, “Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become!” Lasting personal change often comes at a cost, whether great or small.

In your mind’s eye picture a pair of railroad tracks. By standards set by the United States government many years ago, railroad tracks today are all equally spaced 56.5 inches apart. A person could board the train and travel all the way from New York City to Los Angeles and the track width would still be exactly 56.5 inches apart. Railroad tracks are perfectly parallel, meaning the angle of each track in relation to the other will never change. Now take one of the rails and change the angle in relation to the other rail ever so slightly. From the point where you changed one track’s angle onward, you have changed the width of the gap between the rails. The gap will no longer be the standard 56.5 inches. The further you follow the re-angled rails, the larger the gap between them will grow. How wide do you suppose the gap between the rails will be two miles from the starting point? Hundreds of feet. How big will that gap grow five hundred miles from the original starting point? Miles! Those two tracks started out in a very close proximity to each other, but a slight change in direction of one made a huge difference in location at the ending point.

Think of those two tracks as being two different lives. Each started out in a very similar place, but ended up miles apart because of a slight change in direction. Sometimes we doubt the seemingly small changes that God brings to pass in our lives, thinking that it will never really bring about lasting transformation. But He is the Author of our lives! He knows exactly what we need to bring Him the most honor and glory. God is not daunted by the task of transforming lives for His glory! Saying that He is capable of changing lives is like saying the most powerful John Deere tractor has sufficient strength to pull a toy wagon. That is an understatement. He is more than able, if we will let Him! “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” Romans 12:2 (NLT).

IGo seeks to cultivate situations where God can use the surrounding experiences and relationships to more effectively glorify His Name. IGo’s Ministry Trips are a large part of the IGo experience. Dedicated, radiant students will bless and encourage native believers in places like Vietnam, India, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, and China. However, more often than not, it is the students themselves who return from trips encouraged and impacted for life! During each ministry trip, the student will be presented with new perspectives on life that will confront them with choices. Choosing change is not always easy. But it is the hope of IGo that with (1) the Spirit of God leading in the surrendered life of the student, (2) the encouragement of faculty and other students, and (3) the experiences afforded through the travel, that the student will learn to make choices that allow God’s name to receive greater glory through their lives.

God is calling young people today to minister to the world they live in! What better way to learn about and bless the world with the Gospel than to go out into it? If you are seeking change in your own heart for the glorification of God’s Kingdom, consider personally seeking God about joining others like yourself at IGo. You will not regret it. “Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become!”

By Ben Peters, IGO Ministry Trip Coordinator (I Witness News/Spring 2010)

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