In 1633, the English colonists established a settlement on a peninsula between the James and York rivers in Virginia in the United States. They called it Middle Plantation because it lay in the middle of the peninsula. In 1699, they renamed their settlement Williamsburg in honor of King William of England, and it became the capital of the Virginia colonies. At one time the most important city in the Virginia colony, Williamsburg began to decline after the Revolutionary War. In 1926, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., became interested in restoring and preserving Williamsburg, and today it attracts more than a million visitors a year.
Visiting historic Williamsburg is a wonderful experience because one gets to see how life was lived in the past. It can also offer a way to be thankful for the progress that’s been made up to the present time. But progress would not have come if the settlers and those who came after them had continued to do things the same way. If they had continued to bake food in an open fire, there would have been no progression to the microwave oven. If the military had continued to use muskets, America’s defense system would be totally inadequate.
Change is both good and necessary. Our evolution as a people and a planet depends on change. It is important to find new and better ways of doing things in our individual lives as well.
Just because we’ve always done things a certain way doesn’t mean that way is the only way. We can experience change in our lives by beginning with little things. We can take a new route to work, or order a different item on the menu. As we consciously choose to see life in a different light, as we expand our minds to learn new things, growth can certainly come. In order for us to see life with fresh eyes, we must keep our minds open to new and different experiences.
Each individual human being has the capacity to grow and become both useful and happy. For this growth to take place, it is important to allow the natural process of change to occur. There is a saying that “life is change, and change is life.” In other words, change is all about us. It is when we resist change that progress and growth are often stunted. By forging ahead and looking for new and better ways of living and perhaps discovering unseen resources, we can bring about progress and growth for ourself and for others. Just as the Pilgrims in early American history experimented and learned new ways of living in order to survive, we, too, can experiment and not only survive but thrive in the process.
W. G. Montgomery writes in Your Hidden Treasure about two brothers who landed in New York in the year 1845. The older brother had learned the trade of making sauerkraut back in his native Germany. Hearing of possible fortunes to be made in America, he set off for California, where land was cheap. His goal was to grow cabbage, make the cabbage into sauerkraut, and begin a business. His venture was successful, and eventually he bought additional land, planted more cabbage, made more money, and was content.
The younger brother, meanwhile, remained in New York, working during the day and attending school at night. Taking a course in geology and metallurgy, he learned about the rocks and soils with which various minerals are associated. A few years passed and one day, he set out for California by stagecoach to visit his brother. Along the way he kept his eyes open to see what others had not seen.
Upon his arrival, the older brother took him into his cabbage patch to show what good crops he grew. But the younger brother wasn’t interested in cabbage; he was staring at something else. He began picking up handfuls of the sandy soil, pressing it through his fingers, throwing it down, and picking up more.
Walking over to a nearby shallow stream, the young man stooped over and grabbed a handful of quartz and sand from the bottom of the stream and pointed to a dull, yellow piece. “Do you know what this is?” he asked his brother. The cabbage king shook his head, “No.”
“That’s a gold nugget,” said the younger brother with excitement in his voice. “You’ve been growing your cabbage on a gold mine!” And so he had. One of the richest gold mines in
California was found in that cabbage patch. While growing cabbage is a worthwhile enterprise, the cabbage can become quite costly when grown on a gold mine.
Our human mind can be just as rich in unseen resources as that cabbage patch was rich in the unseen gold in the ground where the cabbage grew. Again, it is important to be open to new possibilities, to better ways of doing things, to change. Like the butterfly going through its metamorphosis we may find we can no longer stay behind self‑made walls of protection.
Something within us struggles to be free, to break the bonds of stagnation and soar into a new dimension. Perhaps you desire to find out who you really are in this new day. You may be feeling greater development in your spiritual awareness. Your consciousness can be moving and stretching and recreating itself anew. You may feel you are entering a realm of new and increased good in and for your life. This change can be a continual process that happens daily.
Let the process of change bring about a wondrous time in your life. Think about the wisdom in Dr. Dyer’s words, “Progress and growth are impossible if you always do things the way you’ve always done them.” When the mind of a person is lifted high, he or she refuses to give up or allow defeat to thwart righteous ambitions. Dare to step out in faith. Refuse to be content to be a