Change can come knocking on your door, or it can just barge in, whether you’re ready for it or not. And, sometimes, we can even turn the tables and knock on its door.
In the events leading up to our cross-country bicycle trip in 2010, I experienced all three kinds at once. I was already contemplating some significant change in my life after years without much change. My work landscape was changing–in a big way. At the same time, my relationship with Debbie was presenting a unique opportunity. As external events swirled about, a stirring arose within. Two pieces to a musical composition were about to orchestrate a new song in my life. Other pieces would join in later, but an invitation to yield to the Master Composer had clearly been issued. What followed were decisions to leave a work relationship of 26 years, to marry after 52 years of single life, and to relocate after 50 years of Maine living.
Sooner or later, we all come face-to-face with change–either cowering at its threshold or as willing, if not eager, participants. Change can be intimidating, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t, or even that we won’t. One way or the other, we will grapple with change. Rather than fearing it, we need to embrace change. Wouldn’t you rather embark on it on your own terms? Sometimes, we get a choice in the matter. Change can be a long lost friend who brings opportunity. This friend wants to reawaken your life, if only you will cooperate with him.
It seems that most people dislike change, especially as one ages. Perhaps we cling to what we know, like a child to a blanket. Or, perhaps we have the routine down pat and just don’t want to disrupt what seems to already work well. But when one stops changing, or refuses to change, a slow, subtle form of death sneaks in. We were all made to grow and learn. Change facilitates both.
The recent changes in my life have brought unique blessings that I would not have known without giving change a chance, blessings like loving a unique and precious woman as my wife, experiencing other types of work, helping young people on TheHopeLine, and enjoying not one, but two long-distance bicycle tours. As willing participants in the change game, we allow the One who made us to refine us. We become better equipped to give back to others. And we become better prepared for what lies on the other side of eternity.
Is it time for a change in your life? When change comes knocking, how will you respond?