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Are You Adaptable?
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Anyone who has raised young children knows that children seem to be in a quandary. In some situations, they adapt well to change, while in others they do not. My five-year-old daughter's tell-tale sign of grumpiness is most often the result of a later bedtime than normal.

What about adults? How easily do we adapt to situations? Do we adapt well and go with the flow?

Author and motivational speaker Earl Nightingale (1921–1989) tells this story:

Once upon a time a farmer planted a crop of pumpkins. Walking through his field during the early forming stage of his pumpkins, he stumbled upon a glass jug, apparently tossed into the field by a passing motorist.

As an experiment, the farmer grabbed a tiny pumpkin still connected to the vine, and he carefully, gently pushed it through the mouth of the jug.

Months later, with the pumpkins now fully developed and almost ready for harvesting, the farmer again came across the glass jug. This time, the pumpkin he set inside completely filled it. The other pumpkins on the same vine were large and fully developed, but the pumpkin in the jug did not grow beyond the confines of the glass prison, and thus shaped to its exact dimensions.


The pumpkin in Nightingale's story could have broken the jug, died, or expanded outside its cell, but it simply allowed the jug—the situation—to mold its destiny. Depending on the situation, that could either be good or bad. For example, my older children are able to adapt to the later night outings and move with the flow the next day, but my five-year-old still requires help from a nap. That's a good thing! But if (for instance) my boss at work is constantly doing shady things to increase sales and I adapt and become like him/her, then that's a bad thing.

In the book of Kings, we find King David adapting to many situations—some good, some bad. It was his good adaptations that we often remember, the ones where God greatly blessed him. Even when he did adapt wrongly or poorly to a situation, when shown his wrong, he sincerely repented.

David aptly prayed, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit" (Psalms 51:10-12).

In life, change is inevitable for all of us. So I say, “Come change, come challenge—good or bad—but know this, I will not allow you to bend me or break me. I will be unwavering in holding onto Christ as you knock on my door.”

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By Daniel LaFlair. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION
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