This past week I helped my mother move out of our homestead into a new house across town. She had lived in that home for 36 years. It was the house I most remember growing up in. As we packed, waves of memories crashed against the shoreline of my mind. There was a mix of sadness and excitement.
Saying goodbye to that house was a bit scary. That was home for nearly four decades, not just for my mother, but for me as well. Even though I did not live there anymore, it was a place of memories and created a sense of stability for me. Seeing my mom make this change meant we had to say goodbye to some very familiar things. That can be difficult.
But there was an excitement. For her, this marked a new chapter of her life. Breaking out of the long standing routines meant that her life has more adventure in it. That is exciting, maybe unsettling at times, but definitely life expanding.
She will make new relationships, discover new places, experience new patterns and that is good. Change does that for us. In fact, it is only through change that these things can happen. The truth is, if you are going to walk with God it will require change.
If your life is going to conform to the will of God, you must change and accept change as a necessary part of living out your faith. Simply entering into a relationship with Christ and living a kingdom lifestyle necessitates that we allow God to do a radical work of transformation in our souls. Jesus said, “No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” (John 3:3)
You can’t become like Jesus without change. Paul writes, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2) That means a lot of change: change of loyalty, change of direction, change of values, and an overall change of worldview.
Change takes us out of our zones of comfort and catapults us into territories of uncertainty. For some change is exciting, for others terrifying, and for most of us it is both.
Now life is about motion and growth. Nothing can ever stay completely the same. Relationships change, families change, children change, schools change, neighborhoods change, churches change, and businesses change.
There are two kinds of change…
- Unexpected change. This might include an unexpected death of a loved one, the surprise loss of your job, or an unexpected transfer.
- Expected change. But there are all kinds of changes that we should expect (though sometimes we stay in denial and that prevents us from properly preparing for such change). This might include things like…
- When your five year old gets on the big bus for Kindergarten.
- When Dad gives his daughter away to be married.
- When you graduate from High School and prepare for college.
- When you move away to a new job that you applied for.
- When your department with the company is restructured because of growth or decline.
These changes are going to come. You cannot stop them from happening. You can choose to look at them as things to resist (but that might be futile). Or you can choose to embrace them.
If we are going to fulfill God’s will in our living, we must do as the old song says and “turn and face the change.”
Today, I encourage you to not be afraid of change, but to embrace it. Granted not all change is good, and perhaps there are times to resist it. But we must accept that change is inevitable and that it can be in our favor.
I find that if I accept change as normal, new opportunities present themselves to me. I am the Pastor of my church. With every change our congregation has experienced, I have found new people I get to reach out to and I find that I get to stretch my abilities and learn new skills.
I am also a Professor at Liberty University. The school has doubled in size in less than half a decade. With that kind of growth, organizational changes are constant. I have to learn new skills all the time. There are lots of reorganizations. That can produce anxiety, but I have found that if I embrace the change and not complain, the changes give me greater opportunities to prepare more students for their futures.
Question: What about your life? Are there some changes you are facing? How do you feel about them? Are there opportunities in the change that can expand your horizons, sharpen your skills, and most of all stretch your faith? Tell us about how change is expanding your world. You can leave a comment by clicking here.