Isn’t it odd how occasionally in life we go through times where routine abounds, days can blur together – in a good or bad way – and we have this deeply buried nagging, a hidden stirring, for something new, some sort of variation? I am someone who loves routine, craves it, yet sometimes in the midst of even the good, enjoyable, and fulfilling days I get that itch. For change.
It’s universal, I think. I recently read the book “Through Painted Deserts” by Donald Miller and I 100% recommend it. I’m a sucker for travel/roadtrip/wonderlust themed non-fiction; I get sucked into the mental and emotion journey the author takes as well as the physical stops along the way. Donald Miller starts his book by talking about how we all have this built-in desire to leave. To just go. Because part of us truly desires change.
“It might be time for you to go. It might be time to change, to shine out. I want to repeat one word for you: Leave.
Roll the word around on your tongue for a bit. It is a beautiful word, isn’t it? So strong and forceful, the way you have always wanted to be. And you will not be alone. You have never been alone. Don’t worry. Everything will still be here when you get back. It is you who will have changed.”
So sometimes change is like that… Intentional and purposeful and needed. We sense it should happen so we make it happen.
But other times change smacks you in the face. Or tiny changes beyond your control sneak up on you, looming in the distance, until you’re surrounded. You have to face them.
OR sometimes all of these kinds of changes (intentional/purposeful and not) decide they get along really rather well and throw a big ol’ party right in the middle of your life. How fun.
This may sound off topic, but I realised the other day that I have worked 15 different jobs in my not-quite-but-pretty-close-to 30 years of life. Ya know what that represents to me? Change. If you look at your life you probably have a similar “stat” that points to change as well – maybe the number of apartments you’ve lived in, how many crazy hair cuts you’ve had, how your family has grown or changed over the years, etc. Or, if you want to really talk about change, just look back at a school picture from your awkward adolescent years. I’m guessing you’ve changed – probably for the better – am I right?
That’s because change isn’t really unusual, is it?
To quote one of my favorite bands, OK Go:
“Nothing ever doesn’t change, but nothing changes much.”
Change happens constantly. Look at the creation we’re surrounded with – blooming, budding, growing, dying, transforming, breathing… constantly and consistently. God models change in every millisecond and at the minutest detail of his creation.
And yet change throws me for a loop every time. It requires me to be intentional about my use of time, my attitude, my motivations. (Ewww…. so much work, right?)
But it also reminds me, often later rather than sooner, that change can be good. Even the hard change that makes us want to fast-forward, God can use in our lives. We can open our eyes to what God is showing us and we can decide to make the best out of what we have no control over. Because you know what’s sometimes difficult to remember but also incredibly encouraging? Our God is unchanging. He doesn’t even need to change. He’s the definition of perfect. Perfect LOVE, no less. And he’s the one thing solid in my life when the change party rages on long into the proverbial night.
“[He] is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
That changes everything.
I can change and I can embrace change because I have a rock to stand on.
So I echo the sentiments of Donald Miller again…
“I want to keep my soul fertile for the changes, so things keep getting born in me, so things keep dying when it is time for things to die. I want to keep walking away from the person I was a moment ago, because a mind was made to figure things out, not to read the same page recurrently.”
So I’m along for the ride. I’m backing away from the fringes of the change party – resisting my wallflower instincts – and jumping in on the fun. Not just because I know God can use this all for his glory, but because I am hopeful trusting that he will.