Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Cheese ... Change ... Huh???

Have you ever put something off because you would rather not deal with the 'topic' at hand? Well, I've put off writing this post long enough. The topic is one that I believe I deal with fairly well, but ... well, change is a funny thing. It's necessary for growth, yet we can experience quite a bit of growing pains as we deal with it.

         Important note before I really get started: There are some changes in our lives that can blindside us, leave us devastated and are impossible to foresee.  I am not saying that we can see what the future holds. Although this book reveals in ourselves how we deal with change, I do not take it as "this is how you need to deal with the earth-shattering occurrences in life". There is no better 'reference' than God's Word for any aspect in life. However, I believe that God can and does use other sources to guide us along the road of life. 

So now the question: what in the world does cheese have to do with changes in my life? I'm so glad you asked.  Now, let me tell you ... 

          Once, long ago in a land far away, there lived four little characters who ran through a Maze looking for cheese to nourish them and make them happy.
          Two were mice, named "Sniff" and "Scurry" and two were Littlepeople -- beings who were as small as mice but who looked and acted a lot like people today.  Their names were "Hem" and "Haw".
          Due to their small size, it would be easy not to notice what the four of them were doing.  But if you looked closely enough, you could discover the most amazing things!

Each morning the two mice and the two Littlepeople all go out into the Maze in search of cheese.  They get set in their routines to the point of taking their "station" for granted:  Hem & Haw gather and stockpile their cheese and brag to friends "We deserve this cheese ... We certainly had to work long and hard enough for it."  Then arrogance and pride set in.  They don't see what is happening.

Meanwhile, Sniff & Scurry carry on their routine of getting up early each morning and finding their cheese for the day. They had noticed the cheese supply dwindling, so weren't surprised one day to find there was no more cheese at the station.  Thus, they set out in search of New Cheese. 

Later that same day Hem & Haw go to the same station.  To their surprise -- NO MORE CHEESE! They were taken aback -- how could this have happened?  "Who moved my cheese?" Hem hollered. "It's not fair!"  Haw reacted a bit differently.  He just stood in disbelief ... shock ... unprepared.

          While Sniff and Scurry had quickly moved on, Hem and Haw continued to hem and haw.
          They ranted and raved at the injustice of it all.  Haw started to get depressed.  What would happen if the Cheese wasn't there tomorrow?  He had made future plans based on this Cheese. 
          The Littlepeople couldn't believe it.  How could this have happened?  No one had warned them.  It wasn't right.  It was not the way things were supposed to be. 

Hem & Haw thought of Sniff & Scurry -- how were they reacting to this situation?  had they seen this change coming?  Haw thought the two Littlepeople needed to be more like the mice, but Hem wouldn't hear of it.  "We're smarter than mice ... We should be able to figure this out."  But Haw rationalized that "Things are changing around here, Hem.  Maybe we need to change and do things differently."   Still, Hem wouldn't hear of changing ... he believed the Littlepeople were 'entitled' to the Cheese.  To his logic, he held fast that since someone else had caused the situation, he and Haw should at least get something out of it.

Well, the story continues -- the two mice and the two Littlepeople in search of New Cheese.  Hem waiting on someone else to put his Cheese back ...  Haw analyzing that the waiting game would not benefit him but could worsen the situation ...  Sniff & Scurry searching for a new way to bring joy to their uncomplicated lifestyle.

The story doesn't end here.  But my synopsis does.  I've been stretched, pulled and tugged by re-reading this short book today.  I like to believe that I identify with one of the characters the best in The Story, but I would be kidding myself if I thought I identified ALL of the time.  What if:  I took notice of The Handwriting on the Wall and actually anticipated change?  I had a more open mind when change occurs and "roll with the flow"?  I learned from my past to better plan for my future?  

I do hope that everyone who happens to read this post will go out and buy Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, MD (also author of The One Minute Manager).  We actually have two copies of this book in our house -- one for me and Granddad, and the other for the 'Joe's.

  "The only thing constant in life is change."

It's how we deal with it that makes the difference.

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