I bought my first digital camera in 2001, which was a Sony point and shoot model. I wasn’t married at that time, so I had a lot of extra time and I used to go to places such as parks and shopping malls with my friend, just to take pictures. We took hundreds and hundreds of pictures and I remember I used to get so thrilled when I downloaded them to my computer. In my own opinion, all those pictures looked so good. No worries about spending money on film roles and running out of them, if I don’t like one picture, delete it! Though the camera was one of the beginning model of it’s series, it had a lot of options such as different shooting modes – beach/landscape, contrast, exposure, AF illumination, standard/fine, different flash modes, image size etc. The fact is I never tried changing any of those settings. I used only the default settings it came in and I thought that gave me the best pictures. I didn’t know I was wrong until I bought my current camera about an year ago and tried different things. I deliberately changed so many settings (though I didn't want to) and experimented with it and guess what, I started learning to take some pretty cool pictures. And it motivated me to read the user's manual further to learn all the tiny, but effective changes we can make by changing various settings.
Why was I so hesitant to change the settings on my first camera? I was afraid! Fear of failure. I didn’t have the guts to experiment. I didn’t want to interrupt the smooth usage with the default settings. I didn’t pursue the unknowns. I was just comfortable with my ‘safe zone’. So, I missed a lot of cool features in it.
This is not just a story of a piece of electronic equipment. This is so true in all the aspects of our life. We all get excited about change, but hate to try it ourselves. I think in business world, they use a term ‘change management’, a department dedicated to help people to get adapted to the organizational changes. Why do they need a department itself for that purpose? Because people are usually reluctant to adapt the changes in processes and principles.
My spiritual life was pretty comfortable with the religious activities. While bound in religion, though I had many questions, I didn’t pursue them. I was fearful of opposition, challenges and leaving my comfort zone.
Understanding of God’s grace motivated me, but I was still fearful. I wrestled with hundreds of questions in my mind. How can I challenge one of the major denomination’s doctrines? How can I speak against something which millions and millions of people believe? What if I am wrong?
But the love of God, eventually took over my life. It brought me to a point where there is no going back, where thrill and joy are much higher than fear. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and abandoned me in the wild. Yes, I was scared first, but again it took my hand and made me to pursue. Wow! What a journey! I wouldn't trade this for anything. I haven't reached any where but the journey itself is amazing, each step is something new! Everything has new meaning. "Rest" has a new meaning. "Serving God' has a different meaning. "Love of God" has different meaning. "Grace" itself has different meaning.
Grace brings change, not like the changes politicians offer. This change is a change from inside out, sometimes rapidly, some times slowly but either way a change which lasts. Yes there is a lot of discomfort sometimes, but it is still worth it. Yes, there is pain, rejection, ridicule, loneliness, calling of names such as “law breaker”, but it is still worth it.
I am less afraid of facing unanswered questions. I am less afraid of changing the "setting" and failing in my walk with God. Also, I want to explore the 'owner's manual' much further in the new perspective, in the light of Grace. I am learning all the more everyday, way more than I have learned for so many years in religion and I am excited.
Grace is the change we can believe in and I love this change!