Winds of change
By Allen Teal, chaplain
Rolla Presbyterian Manor
March brings changes. Most people are not fans of change. Phrases have emerged to illustrate this.
“Change is painful.”
“Change will come when the pain of staying the same is worse than the pain of change.”
“The only thing that doesn’t change is change.” —Author unknown
Everything changes. Some change is almost imperceptible. The moon moves away from the earth at the rate of about 1.5 inches per year. In the 2,000 years since the time of Christ, it has retreated about 250 feet. Someone from that time period probably could not tell the difference. No one minds change that is not noticeable during their lifetime.
Change is more acceptable when it involves a choice.As long as change involves personal choice, most people are willing to accept it. Moving is a choice many make. “The average American moves once every 5 years.” In spite of this, people will say that they hate to move. When benefits or necessity drive the change, it will be readily accepted most of the time.
The Apostle Paul recognized that growing older nudges us to change.
All children like to be held by their parents. At some point in your life, you were picked up and held. And there was the final time that when you were returned to the floor, you were never picked up again. It’s unlikely that you remember the event although it signaled a huge change in your life. As we grow up, childhood is slowly left behind. Adulthood is entered. Education, experience, and training change us in ways that will never be reversed.
Change is hardest when it comes rapidly and unexpectedly.
Most changes are positive. The way change comes is the problem. A top-down organizational change may be tough to take. Our vote wasn’t considered or requested. Our reaction is usually a bigger problem than the change. We do not have to endorse every change. It is important that we do not invite unhappiness into our life by quickly and negatively judging changes before we understand them. Like it or not, change will come. Learning to be accepting of most changes can add a great deal of contentment to our life.
“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” (Philippians 4:11b, NIV).