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 you 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. We have learned the words “social distancing.” We wear masks. I get most of my restraint food from the drive through. Things, they are a changin.’
A few days ago my family got together to celebrate my birthday. I hadn’t seen the grands in a week. Jakson, age 9, walked in and he looked like he had grown a foot. I said, “Jakson, you have gotten so tall.” He said, “PoppyC, you have gotten so old.” Change.
One thing we have seen in 2020 is change. We do church different, work different, greet one another different (what ever happened to handshakes?). Almost everything has changed. Shoot, Doris even used this time to remodel the bathroom. The one place where I could go to be alone has changed.
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 in 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!
Look for more about change on “What Difference Does That Make? with Dr. Mike Courtney,” a podcast that will help you make sense of change.