Okay, I admit it....I hate change. Oh, there are some areas I'd love to see some change in..for instance, the number on my bathroom scale - I'd like to see that change to a much smaller number. I'd love to see the amount in my checkbook change to a much greater amount. I'd love to see the amount of unmatched socks left in my laundry basket downright disappear! Unfortunately, I don't want to make the changes necessary for those things to happen....okay, I'm not sure anyone knows how to tackle the sock problem.
The point is, I am a creature of habit. I like to do things a certain way and like most people, I feel like my ways are best (that's why I do them that way.) It takes a lot of convincing for me to give up my old habits in exchange for new ones. Occasionally, all it takes is someone showing me a better way, but more often I have to be pulled kicking and screaming into a new way of doing things.
My students are reading a book right now about life during the Great Depression and it has me thinking. A lot of people went through really hard times then, and yet they not only survived, they came out stronger. Many were forced to make changes they didn't want to make, move from places they had no intention of leaving and many were forced to stay when they really wanted to go. Yet somehow, they grew. Some of our greatest examples of architecture came out of the years of the Great Depression. Movies that are today considered to be classics - made during the Great Depression. Many of the modern things we take for granted have their roots in that time period of change. Great creativity was born during this time of change.
Today, many are once again going through a time of change, and it's not necessarily change they were hoping for. All this got me to thinking about a story I once heard my pastor tell about what happens during autumn when the leaves begin to fall from the trees. They change colors - actually, the color that was there all along is simply being revealed. (Sounds like a lot of people I know - especially the one who looks back at me from my mirror each day.) Then slowly, these leaves let go of the tree...something old has died. That seems sad, and I'll admit it often is. However, there is a hope in the fact that those old leaves will be replaced with new growth. If the old does not fall away, the new can not come forth.
Now, I'm pretty sure that trees aren't out there moaning about the fact that the leaves they'd grown so accustomed to for the past year are now gone. It is a part of the process....not just in trees, but in me. Letting go of the way things have always been is a part of growth. I don't have to get rid of the things that make me who I am - my roots, I simply need to realize that the fringe parts aren't always going to stay the same. That which served me well for so long may have reached the end of its time.
Today's blog seems to have gone in a bit of a circle....sort of like life. I may not like it, but change is a part of that life....good change and change that is sometimes painful. Both are for my good if I will trust my Creator and His plan. I still hate change.....but knowing it's for a reason gives me hope.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11