Change is a bittersweet constant in life. As children we delight in growing taller, gaining new privileges, mastering exciting skills, and always longing for greater independence. As adults, we gain a more mature perspective (one hopes!), realizing how precious are our moments of youth and the innocence of our fading childhood memories; the innocence also of our own children. We delight and sometimes grieve. We celebrate and mourn, a bittersweet combination brought on by inexorable change.
Change happens in our personal lives, the workplace, the marketplace, church, and in our cultural milieu, reflecting the broader ebb and flow around the world.
We like change when it benefits us or makes us happy. Not so much when it hurts us or those we love. Divorce is a horrible change. Marriage a delight. Death brings searing pain, but can also bring together family and community in common resolve to live up to the legacy of the loved one who has passed. Changes at work can be hard, but also provide unexpected new opportunities for those willing to adapt for the benefit of the company.
We learn to accept changes in our personal lives, work, friendships, and community.
But church? Well, that’s a bit dicey.
Is the new pastor aware that he has to finish the service by 11:45 am so I can get the roast out of the oven? Did the new children’s director not get the memo that “I’ve paid my dues and done my time?” Isn’t the new board aware that the reason I’ve not tithed this year is because I needed to buy that new pool in order to benefit the younger families, especially the youth? It’s a sacrifice, but this change they require in asking me to tithe…well…I dunno….it’s just dicey.
No, the examples above are not from real people. But if we are honest, we have to admit they are plausible.
In every sphere of life change requires a mixture of faith in God’s providence, continually seeking his wisdom, as well as relational savvy. You know, putting others before ourselves, humbling ourselves so that God may be glorified and others may be blessed, and always maintaining a thankful attitude.
Change isn’t easy, and often we cannot control it. But we can learn to control our attitude so that it is Christlike (Philippians 2).