Yesterday my church celebrated Reformation Day. The Lutheran faith has many theologies associated with Martin Luther. In so many ways, Luther was a rebel. He didn’t do what the church wanted him to do, which made him so unique. He led by what he believed his calling was. Luther felt that the old ways were not going to work. There’s a difference between respecting tradition and getting stuck in a traditional mindset. Luther knew that.

When I think of reformation, several issues come to mind. I automatically think about churches when I think of reformation. So many of the older churches have lost touch with the younger demographic and are dying out because they are consistently reaching out to older folks. Please don’t get me wrong; there’s nothing wrong with that except for any place to thrive and grow, you need younger additions. Otherwise, we all become complacent, and new ideas become challenging to find. One of the reasons I love engaging with the younger community is because I find myself captivated by the ideas and energy they possess. Their way of thinking reminds me that the rest of us often put ourselves in a box. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m not ready to go in a box.

I think about businesses that are consistently evolving with the times. More people than ever realize their worth. They are beginning to demand the flexibility of working from home with better hours, better pay, and better opportunities. And the truth is that they should. Many companies want people back in their building, but there are many times where it’s questionable if that’s smart. Sure, you can micromanage better when somebody’s in your building, but you will get better productivity out of them if they can work to their advantage. This action doesn’t mean that every job should be a work-at-home position, but think of how much more productive people can generate when given every opportunity to shine.

Churches and businesses are only one portion of the conversation about reformation. The truth is that we are all reforming ourselves. We can improve ourselves if it’s a brand, a way of thinking, a form of generating interest, or even in our relationships with one another. We are restructuring and reforming ourselves. Some companies say that we constantly rebrand throughout the days, and that’s true to a point. Every day that we are alive, our systems are changing. Sometimes our bodies are working at maximum capacity, and before we know it, our bodies change. What used to be simple can become challenging. When we change ourselves, we form who we either desire to become or become foreign to our visibility. Sometimes I look in the mirror and don’t recognize myself from even twenty years ago. I often wonder what transpired to turn me into an unfamiliar figure. I don’t know when all the changes took place because everything slowly transitioned. But the truth is that the things that were once important to me are now minuscule. Conversations that I had with friends were a distant memory. The dreams, though, are at the forefront of my mind and give me the strength to continue to make positive strives in everything I do.

When we come face to face with our fears, we find ways to reform our mentality. We no longer feel that fear has us in our grasp. Relationships aren’t easy. It doesn’t matter if it’s in business or personal. When we decide to change our focus, sometimes others won’t understand. It gets lonely when you become the voice for others at times. Some days it feels that others want to crucify you for speaking your mind. Saying what we think shouldn’t be condemned. We shouldn’t feel scared that others will bully us for what we have to say. Especially if we are saying things that will help change the environment for the better in the future. No one should live with the fear that people should silence their thoughts with violence.

I hope that this week allows you opportunities to re-form your thoughts. Sometimes we need to step away from toxicity to clear our minds. That’s what I did over the last few days. I did a lot of praying and soul searching. I don’t know where the future will take me, but I know that I can take solace wherever it leads me, knowing that faith is constantly reforming my fears. And on the days where I feel that the rest of the world knocks me down, I know I’m not alone. Because not only do I believe that God is with me, I know there are so many others in the world with the same insecurities, anxieties, and fears. It helps when we all know that we aren’t alone in this world with the struggles we all face. Looking to the past is excellent as a tool to learn from, but unhealthy to live in the past. We can use our experiences to help us move forward and even help others along the way.

The hardest thing that I’ve had to learn is that I can’t change what others did to me in the past or what I did to myself, but I can change how I move forward. To do that, I made decisions that are helping me change myself for the best version of me I can be, and that person will constantly evolve and grow. Life means living our lives to the fullest and not hiding when things get complicated. If you are finding yourself stuck in a rut, maybe it’s time that you take a hard look at yourself and see what positive attributes you bring to the table. Don’t dwell on the negatives. There are enough people in this world who will do that for you. Instead, embrace your flaws and help others along the way. Have a great day, everyone.

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