Today I've had two experiences with something new.
First, my wife bought me a new gear shift knob for my truck. I know, big deal. But actually it was. All the way to work today, I kept thinking, "This isn't right. I don't like this new knob." The new knob is metal, different from what I had. It's colder than the other one. It's a slimmer shape so my hand fits on it differently. (It's just wrong!) Why did I get a new knob? The old one was loose and moved up and down and sometimes completely off. Once I knocked it off while I was driving. (And it rolled around in the floor until I could stop and retrieve it.) And the insert on the top has completely disappeared. I needed a new one. The new one is great. Except it's wrong because it's not the old one. I was familiar with the old one.
Then, this morning I did something I've never done before. I taped some segments for the Kids Ministry 101 TV monthly webcast*. I was so nervous. When asked, I debated about whether to do it or not and had almost decided not to do it but Mrs. Cindy said, "I think you should do it." So I agreed. All day yesterday and all night last night I kept wondering why I agreed. And then I would wonder why I wanted to back out. After all, I encourage kids to try new things, so why shouldn't I.
I think I was so anxious because it was a new thing...something I had never done before. I didn't know what to expect. After some prayer I decided to just go for it. I may fail but I had to try. Now that it's over I realize that it was pretty fun. And, if asked, I would do it again. (And probably get a little nervous again but that's just how I am!)
Now...you know this isn't just about me...I am a reflective thinker after all. I did think about kids and introducing something new or making changes in something. So kids go along. Some kids buck against it. But...if I have build a strong relationship with kids...if I prepare kids for the change or at least explain what's happening...if I allow kids to show the natural reactions of a little anxiety or unease...then the something new can become a great experience.
Sometimes a new thing works well (like the glue guns). Sometimes a new thing falls flat (like the rope light). But new experiences are important because that's how we grow...kids and adults.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go drive my truck around so the new gear knob can become just right. (And I so appreciate my wife to taking care of this...even if it doesn't feel just right yet.)
*I'm not sure when the webcast segments will air; sometime in early 2012. But you can bet I'll let you know when I know.