Some people love change. They thrive on the new and the unexpected. They revel is new experiences – new sights, new smells, new people, new places, new… And it might not even have to be new. It could just be different, a change of pace, a reverting back or revisiting something that once was familiar but now is different.
These people experience life in new ways. It might be a challenge. It might require something different. It invites exploration into new parts of life and of this world. They come alive!
Not me. I don’t like change. It throws me. I feel stressed out.
I don’t sleep well. I eat and drink to compensate. I become irritable, anxious, and sometimes fearful.
Those changes include holidays – birthdays, anniversaries, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I feel the pressure from somewhere for this to be extra special and I fear I can’t deliver. So I bear down and try harder… and get more anxious!
Those changes include vacations. I don’t do well when my rhythm is thrown off. Strange beds, different meal schedules, more freedom, the endless potential for “fun”… all of this drives me crazy.
Some of you get this, don’t you? Am I weird or normal?
Strangely, I really like doing new things at work. I like initiating and creating. I can get bored doing the same thing over and over.
But I am getting ready to transition in the next few years in my job. I have entered the Golden Years and the promised land of less work and fewer expectations await. Some of my friends are already there. Some of them have loved the change. Some of them are going crazy!
I have spent 45 years working hard – having a rhythm to my life with goals and expectations. And now what will I do with the change?
Here is what I try to tell myself.
God uses times of change to make us aware of the things in life on which we rely more than we rely on Him. It is not that those things are bad or wrong. It is a question of their proper sense of importance. Tim Keller, quoting St. Augustine I believe, described idolatry as turning good things into ultimate things. I want Him to be big enough that change doesn’t throw me. I want Him to be big enough, without necessarily eliminating the discomfort, to enable me to lovingly engage in those moments or seasons. I want the ultimate thing to be clear enough and compelling enough to balance my ship, to give me equilibrium – so that I can “love”.
I want to be free to embrace change, to welcome it with the new opportunities it will bring. But to go that far, He will have to become bigger…
Palmer Trice is an ordained Presbyterian minister. He is married to Lynne, has three children and has been in Charlotte since 1979. In his spare time, Palmer enjoys golf, tennis, walking and reading.