Deuteronomy is just about to get the best of me. This is the place in my yearly, “through the Bible” reading, like Leviticus, that I go into hyper speed reader and pray for a change in scenery. Proverbs is sounding repetitious. Paul can’t get over the giving kick in II Corinthians. I’m glad there are only 31 days in January. I’m ready for a change. And that’s unusual for me.
Change. I don’t like it. Vote against it. Not in favor of it. Not the pennies and nickels in your pocket kind of change but the get off the couch, leave your comfort zone, life is getting different, kind of change. I am not a big fan of change. Most of us aren’t, but the one thing I have learned about change is that it happens whether I like it or not. The kids get older, Windows 10 gets updated, the LA Rams move to St. Louis and then back to LA, and Pluto quits being a planet. I’m telling you things change.
This time of the year I think about change. The days are getting ready to be longer. I go from coat to sweater to jacket to coat. The weather forecasters are having a hard time being very accurate. (Okay, not everything changes.) As winter loses its grip and spring approaches change seems to be all over the place. And so, maybe I should take a new view of change.
Change is a sign of life. To be alive is to change. Do you know we lose about 40,000 skin cells every HOUR? That’s nearly a million skin cells a day. (If that’s true how come I can’t lose weight?) The point is that God created even our bodies to change, recycle, to grow new skin and hair and brain matter every day. Babies grow. Plants bloom. Nature and life itself are all about change. So, as I face the changes in life, and believe me I face them in the mirror every morning, rather that rant and rave against it, I am trying to learn to embrace change around me as a sign of growth, improvement, and God’s hand on me.
Here are some suggestions for dealing with change:
- Celebrate it as a gift from God and look for ways to allow change to make you better. Face it, most often, once the pain of change is over, we recognize the value in it. Can you say black and white TV, cloth diapers, and segregated schools? There are a lot of very significant changes in our time that have made us much, much better. Perhaps God is bringing about some changes in you that are for you own good or the good of those around you.
- Seek to direct change where you can rather than allow it to direct you. Remember 5th grade science and the class about inertia. It’s easier to direct a body in motion than a body standing still. Change gets us moving but many times we can decide the direction. The music in my church changed and we reached more young people. The pastor kept pushing community groups so I have a great group of guys that meet in my office each week. Use the momentum of change to take you where God wants you to be.
- Work hard to anticipate and stay ahead of change. The greatest opportunities for influence, impact and improvement are on the front edge of change. Most of the time, I lag behind, griping about the new ways. I am finally learning that Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr are powerful tools for sharing, educating, influencing, and attracting people to what is good. What if we were on the cutting edge of change, making it a constant force for what is right and what is helpful? What if we were leading the change in social justice, ministry to the poor, creating a sanctuary for the down and out? What if we took the responsibility seriously to make our world a better place?
- Which leads me to the last thing, stay grounded in what doesn’t change; God is the same yesterday, today and forever. In a world awash with change, God is the constant. Our methods and approaches to telling His story have to be new everyday but the message is unchangeable. And in a changing world, people are hungry for that.
Change is going to happen. Who knows? Maybe the change is gonna’ do us good!