Take a look at the image below. It is a theory about how people change their minds. It’s also the process that I think people and groups of people (such as a country) goes through as it adjusts to a new reality. (For more on the theories of Kubler-Ross see Changing Minds and Wikipedia)
The new reality that I am talking about (and have been talking about) is the trauma engulfing the world. Ask yourself, is the trauma bad enough for you to seek help from Jesus Christ? No? Not yet?
Where are you on this timeline… bearing in mind that it’s only at the last stage “testing and acceptance” that we finally accept that something is inevitable and we adjust.
If you are in leadership you might be surrounded by vast quantities of research saying that you will be able to find your way out, your country will be able to survive… perhaps your research advises you something like this:
For the resources of Nature and men’s devices are just as fertile and productive as they were. The rate of our progress towards solving the material problems of life is not less rapid. We are as capable as before of affording for every one a high standard of life — high, I mean, compared with, say, twenty years ago– and will soon learn to afford a standard higher still. – John Maynard Keynes, from ”The Great Slump of 1930 (not 2009), originally published in The Nation & Athenæum, issues of 20 December and 27 December 1930.
1930 was an economic situation. What we are facing now is utterly and entirely different.
If you have that view, that nothing has changed fundamentally, then consider yourself to be in the denial stage.
Or perhaps you are reading this and you feel indignant that Someone Above could be affecting your right to live life the way you want to – then you are in the anger stage. 🙂
Perhaps you have seen the floods in Pakistan, Benin and all over the world, and you have seen the fulfillment of so many prophecies and you have come to a stage of feeling downhearted – pretty much like I am. Then you are in the depression stage.
Make no mistake, this is not 1930. What is occuring now is far far greater than anything we human beings can create or influence or even imagine…
For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. – Isaiah 44:3
If you are in the depression stage, there is good news! The good news for you (and for me too) is that the testing and acceptance stage is next. That’s when we accept the new reality and we begin to look for solutions to our problems within that new reality.
We begin to search for new alternatives to resolve the problem facing us… we tried to bargain before accepting the new reality – and of course our bargaining failed.
Now we accept the new reality and we begin to seek solutions within the new context.
Basically… we seek the help of Jesus Christ.
Why Jesus Christ? Because during our previous stages we tried every other conceivable alternative solution and nothing worked. So as a last resort we turn to Jesus Christ and ask for His help.
But wait, why Jesus Christ? Because He is the only spiritual leader in world history who beat the power of death (and that is well recorded in world history) and Whose followers regularly beat the power of death by healing people and by setting them free through prayer. Just take a moment to think about it, all the other leaders of religions died. We know where most of their graves are.
One more time, tell me why Jesus Christ? Because He is the One that told us about these things we are experiencing now. He wrote them down in great detail 2,500 years ago – and now we see it unfolding before our eyes. No other religion has such information on what is occuring now. And what’s exciting is He showed us the way out of this troubled time. He HIMSELF is the way out of this. Come to Him and ask Him to Shepherd your country.
If you are stuck in Bargaining , you will bargain in vain, because you have not yet accepted the inevitability of what is occuring. Your position for bargaining is out of synch with what is occuring around you. You are not bargaining to limit the pain of change, instead you are bargaining to maintain what benefits you the most…
“What President Nixon means by peace is what other people mean by victory.”
— Said in 1972 by Don Oberdorfer of the Washington Post, from the last chapter of David Halberstam’s The Best and the Brightest.
Therefore, since God knows that we are not accepting the new reality and working from there, He won’t enter into further bargaining with us.
2008 was prophesied as the start of the troubles, and right on cue it started. But were given a second chance… and what did we do? We wasted it. We utterly wasted it. We were bargaining without having accepted the new reality. So our bargaining was not to assist our change – instead we bargained to maintain the status quo.
But now comes a sense inevitability. And depression. The sooner we come to this stage, the sooner we can get through it and we adjust and begin to accept the new reality – which is that Jesus Christ is the only solution for what faces us.
When we are there we can begin testing what works in the new reality.
Don’t hire people to tell you nothing has changed. Don’t even listen to people who advise you that. Did they prophesy what is occuring? Did they know it before it occured? Did they write about it 2,500 years ago? No, I didn”t think so.
So don’t waste time with them and confuse yourself into dithering and not going forward into testing – which means finding out what works in the new reality.
For more posts related to our need for Shepherding, please read these:
- Stages of change towards countries seeking the Shepherd – 10 24 10
- My role… pastor/shepherd – 03 31 10
- Different metaphors for our relationship with Jesus Christ – 09 09 10
- Governors of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Florida prayed – and received! – 07 19 10
- During the tournament… there was no crime – Jacob Zuma – 07 14 10
- And the miracle keeps on… but a warning – 05 27 10
- Manufacturing for South Africa and other prophecies – one year on! – 05 18 10
- My sheep hear my voice – 03 09 09
- The good Shepherd – 03 07 09
NOTE 1: This is my feeble attempt to “shape the conversation”. I’m trying – probably in vain – to give some context for what people and countries are going through – in the hope that you will see the pattern and accept the outcome. The less time wasted, the faster we all get through this to a successful outcome. I accept that more mature Christians know by experience that I am wasting my time, that mindsets and cultures are too entrenched. But I think it would be a lack of love if I didn’t at least TRY!
NOTE 2: I am personally going through this process. I also have tried to bargain, I have felt anger, I was in denial, I was (and am) stuck in my own personal struggle against the power of death as it rules over me. I think I have spent SEVERAL YEARS in the testing phase, trying to find what works. I think I found something that worked… to a large extent I am free, but not completely. As I sit here typing, I am not yet totally free. So my testing phase continues. My hope is high that I will find something and be able to share it with you. Whether you accept it or not is entirely up to you.
NOTE 3: My aim in all of my writing it to be open. I have not hidden anything – neither my own sinful condition, nor my thoughts, disappointments or my hopes for us all.