Change is a big word. It’s ripe with meaning and most of us instantly have a feeling about it; either good or bad. Some kinds of change are excellent, some are dreadful . Some of us love change and do all we can to find new ways to experience it. Others of us liken it to teeth on a chalkboard; we would rather use toothpaste, thank you. Many of us are somewhere in between; we don’t mind change but we want to do the deciding on who, what, when, where and how. Don't you be changin' things for us!
Back in July, God told me to “expect change in the Fall." It was one of the most distinct sentences I have ever heard from Him. Not just an impression on my heart but those words specifically rang in my ears during my time alone with Him one morning. I told several people what I had heard and I thought I was prepared for its coming.
I already knew of one upcoming changes; my oldest daughter, her husband and my two grandsons are moving far away. Then, my youngest daughter made the same decision. Then, we painfully decided we needed to leave our church. Then, I had to stop a ministry I held dear. Then, I have some health concerns. Then, our only quiet neighbor decided to build a house in our hip pocket…..
It just kept coming and it hasn’t stopped. It has come to the point that I expect that each new day will bring a new twist on the theme of “change.” It makes me think of Sarah Palin asking, “How’s that hopey, changey thing workin' out for yah?”
I mean, when He said “change,” I imagined a small detour, a slight speed bump, an insignificant shift in the waterway. I did not expect a tidal wave of destruction to so many different layers of my life.
So, after I caught my breath a bit I began to realize that God has enacted most of the change. For the most part, it is completely out of my hands. There is not a thing I can do about it, except choose how I respond to it.
God has afforded me the gift of observation. I learn more from watching other people’s lives than anything else. While I have earned a degree in the school of hard knocks and sinful decisions; my Masters is in discerning the painful lessons in the lives of others and trying not to repeat them in my own.
And, I have watched a lot of people who get stuck and never wanted to adjust. They made a decision somewhere along the way that life was going to be a certain way for them. They plotted out there parameters and staked their claim on “Life as They Know It.” Life and people came and went around them and they stubbornly held tight to that claim.
They spent a lot of time thinking about how to keep life from altering, even the littlest bit. They saw the world in the scope of their own thoughts, feelings and aspirations and most importantly, their memories of a past that they couldn’t…no... wouldn’t, move beyond.
Sadly, as life does move on they stay in the same place and somewhere along the way they decide to stop living. Oh, they still breathe and they get up every morning, but the breadth of life has escaped them. They can’t see beyond the borders of their self imposed and self declared little bit.
So, I choose to change and embrace the scariness of it all. I choose to step of the cliff and trust the parachute. I choose to believe that the God Who ordained this change can handle the consequences. And, I choose to believe that.... it..... will..... be..... a..... blast!