Ever Heard the One about the Capricious Martinet?
The daily post asked – When was the last time you changed your mind?
Much as I’d like to believe I am open-minded, I am not a big fan of changing my mind. Instead, I like the idea of commitment, perseverance and reliability. I would not want to be “so open-minded that my brains leaked out”.
I have one exception to this general rule. It is the work Christmas night out.
When it is mooted in August, I cannot help but think – Hey, that’ll be great – ooh I love a bit of festivity and good cheer! Then I gleefully put down my deposit and mark it in my diary.
Before long, the winter drags its weary carcase into the picture, which in turn drags in many weeks of long dark nights and freezing temperatures.
Then I think to myself: What on earth seemed appealing about donning a skimpy sequined top and some tinselly antlers to get stuck in town with a queue as long as you like for a taxi home in sub zero temperatures in silly shoes? And there might be dancing! Eek! Rising in my gut is my social anthropological unease about the whole dancing thing. So I change my mind about wanting to go.
However, I don’t change my mind about going. I just change my mind about wanting to. I go, and it is always good. There are always lovely people to talk to, and even dance with. And I almost invariably drive.
I do think that changing your mind can be a good thing. Today the government did a U-turn on reducing sentences for serious offenders. They get all sorts of flack from the media – but if there has been a bad decision made – why not change your mind – instead of struggling on in arrogance, wanting to save face?
So saying, changing your mind can mean nothing unless something is changed outside the mind:
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behaviour. Colossians 1 vs 21
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12 vs 2
These (admittedly out-of context) quotes link the mind with the behaviour. The writer suggests the person is cut off from God because of their behaviour, which results in antagonism towards God in their mind. Similarly, the charge to the believer is to change their behaviour by refusing to conform to “the pattern of this world” – and in place of that be renewed in the mind.
So, I should be into changing my mind – or perhaps renewing it at least.
As for the Christmas Night out – on the one hand I should learn to think ahead and just not sign up. But, at the mere mention of that attitude – I feel a self-rebuke rising. What’s the point in being a Bah-humbug Scrooge misery-guts? ‘Tis supposed to be the season to be jolly, after all.
Overall, I am not into capriciousness. Nor am I into pertinaciousness.