Adjusting Your Settings

Sometimes when you download a new app to your phone, tablet or computer, you get a message telling you that you need to adjust your settings in order for the app to work properly.

Recently I heard someone use that term in regards to life. She had had a really good day with one of her children, but she admitted that if you had told her some years ago that that was what a good day would look like, she probably would have cried. Life hadn’t turned out like she expected. Her child’s life is not going to be the life she had hoped for. Yet, they had had a really good day.

“It’s okay to adjust your settings,” she said, and I thought that is something that just about everyone needs to hear and embrace–especially after the last 18 months. It’s okay to shift your expectations. To let go of how you wanted things to be and embrace (maybe even dare to celebrate?) what is. It’s okay to adjust your settings.

Perhaps the most famous Biblical example of someone who had to adjust his settings is Paul. He expected to crush this growing Christian rebellion that he saw as threatening his religious tradition as well as the Empire. And then, SHAZAM! All it took was a blinding light on the road to Damascus and a few choice words from God, and Paul became the movement’s premier leader and letter writer.

Even Jesus adjusted his settings in that story (one of my favorites) with the Syrophoenician (or Caananite) woman who asked for help. He told her that it wasn’t fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs, meaning that he came to serve the children of Israel and not the Gentiles. She came back at him with: but even the dogs under the table get to eat the crumbs. And Jesus adjusted his settings in a big way. He not only helped the woman, but his call and his ministry grew exponentially that day.

It’s okay change your plans.

It’s okay to change your mind.

It’s okay to answer a different call.

It’s okay to grieve and let go of what you wanted life to be so that you can enjoy what it actually is.

We all need to adjust our settings now and again. Consider this your pop-up reminder: in order for your life to work properly, you may need to adjust your settings.


Rev. Anne Russ is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), currently based in New York City. Doubting Believer provides tools and encouragement for the rollercoaster ride of your faith journey. Follow me on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube. You can also follow on TikTok. Get emails to keep up with all that is happening.

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