At our last SPACE Leadership meeting Alison lent us a most interesting book, “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson. There were about 10 copies lent, that we have been asked to pass on to others in SPACE. I had heard about the book, but had not had the opportunity to read it.
The story is very much an amusing parable. It is a story about two mice and two little people who look for cheese in the maze in which they live. Cheese does not only nourish them, but brings them great joy, and there are certain cheeses that they love more than others.
What is interesting is that the cheese seems to represent those things we have, and want to have in life, such as security, a lovely home, a job, a loving family, a beautiful church and so on. The maze represents those places and time spent looking for the things we want.
The four characters in the story are very different as their names suggest: “Sniff” and “Scurry” are the two mice and “Hem” and “Haw” are the people who are as small as mice “but who looked and acted a lot like people today”.
The problem occurs when the four have found a great supply of the cheese they love, and a couple of the characters become complacent and settle into a comfort zone. They don’t see the little changes that are occurring all around them. The world has moved on and left them behind, eventually they are left with nothing.
This is because they believed that things would continue to click over as they always have, but the truth of the matter is that things are continually moving and changing, and that is something that we can see every day of our lives. Nothing in God’s earth stays the same. Things are constantly changing, the universe is continually expanding, knowledge, technology, experiences are continually changing . . . and yet God’s message continues to be the same.
The prophet Isaiah reminds us: “The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand for ever.” God’s word tells us that each and every one of us is loved beyond measure, even as sinful as we are. It is within this love of God and through Christ that our sins have been wiped away and we are Graciously offered eternal life, eternal joy.
But as Christians how do we proclaim that unchanging message anew, in a changing world? Well the book “Who Moved My Cheese?” makes some interesting statements that might point us in that direction:
“They keep moving the cheese.” (We know that change happens.)
“Get ready for the cheese to move.” (We need to look for and anticipate the change.)
“Smell the cheese often so you know when it is getting old.” (Let’s monitor the changes.)
“The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you can enjoy new cheese.” (We need to adapt to the changes.)
“Move with the cheese.” (We need to look beyond our comfort zones and make the change to be in a position to reach out.)
“Enjoy the taste of new cheese.” (Enjoy the fruits of change.)
Let’s proclaim God’s unchanging Good News to a changing world.