Why Struggle with Change?

Change is defined by dictionary.com this way:

 to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone: to change one’s name; to change one’s opinion;to change the course of history.

Some find change easier to manage than others, but it would be fair to say that we all struggle with change as it moves us from our comfort zone into the unknown. I have been reflecting on change a lot these past weeks, as everyone around me tells me either directly, or by way of behaviour, that they are struggling with change. Just a few weeks ago I departed St. Mark’s by-the-Lake and many people articulated their feelings that change would be difficult. At the same time I arrived at St. Aidan’s. Again, people have been articulating their angst with change. All the while, I have been dealing with change. I am a person who cares deeply about change – yet I am struggling with change as well.

My municipality has changed. The Church community I worship in has changed. The way the church community worships has changed. My community has changed. The church leadership has changed. My home has changed. My routine has changed. The people I call on for help have changed. Everywhere I look there is change.  I have  choices in how I should respond to change. I can turn inward and become destructive to myself. I can call on those around me to change to be like me. Or I can choose to rely on God in this.  My response needs to be a trust the leading of the Spirit. God is the greatest agent of change. I came across this little poem a year ago and have held on to it.

 “All that you touch
You Change.

All that you Change
Changes you.

The only lasting truth
is Change.

is Change.” 

When we become comfortable or complacent, God has a way of stirring us from our nest in gentle anticipation of a flight we have not yet taken.

In the midst of what seems like incredibly difficult, yet exciting change for me, I pray for patience to remember that God is change. I also pray for all those whose life, whose worship, whose leadership, whose faith journey, whose reality is changing because of the change that is God has called me in to. I pray that God also grant them patience to know that God is change and that all of us are embracing a new reality —- in so doing —we are embracing God.  

17 thoughts on “Why Struggle with Change?

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  1. Beautifully written. Very timely for me. I find myself in a struggle as a “cancer survivor”. I just figured that when my cancer battle was over, I would pick up my life where I left off in April, 2011. To my surprise, cancer has forever changed me, not just in the obvious physical ways, but in body, mind and spirit. I am desperately trying to establish my “new normal”. This post is a good reminder to me that life is all about change, and that as I embrace this change, I embrace God. Thanks!

    1. Florence
      I cannot imagine the level of change that you are struggling with. I feel foolish about the struggles that I have had with the changes in my life, given the magnitude of what you have had to embrace.
      You remain in my prayers – and I remain thankful that our paths crossed.

  2. Thinking of you Kevin and hope you and Catherineanne are doing well. Today was my first chance to get to church since you left. I found that the change at St. Marks was strange. I could still hear you in my head singing the last few notes of Lamb of God you take away the sins of the world grant us peace….grant us peace……you always only sang the last few notes of peace because you were busy with the servers.:-)) Funny what people remember:-) Love ya! Stacy

    1. Love you too Stacy…
      we are trying our best to settle in.
      Thank you for your kind words and for being you…
      we miss you more than you can know…

  3. Change is always difficult for the human mind in whatever capacity. In many ways we are all creatures of habit and resist a redirection of our way of living whether it allude to death, divorce or even a change in Church Leadership. Hopefully we become stronger for learning to adapt and deal with it. Wow I am sounding a little too philosophical!! Still miss you and “The Change!”

  4. I think change can be a good thing if people choose to see the beauty and blessing in all that change involves. The last two years Stephen and I have had nothing but change, change that has come at a tragic time with the death of both our boys but I’d be lying if I said the change that came from losing our boys was not good. It has been nothing but good and I know it’s because of God. He has set us on the right path and though change can be different it doesn’t have to be difficult. We also really like the change that is going on in our church and we are excited about it. I know it’s hard for some to see change as good but if people open their eyes to the true beauty of the world and look at all the blessings, they will see that as hard as it may be, it’s worth it.

  5. One of my favorite philosophers, Heraclitus of Ephesus (a priest and political leader), who spoke in riddles that sound like Japanese koans, said that “Panta rei” everything flows/changes, and “Time is like a river, and you can never step into the same river twice.” It’s probably best to try to relax and go with the flow. But it’s still stressful. As St. Augustine said, “Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.” May you find a refuge from change in the right places.

    1. Art,
      I love that — “Time is like a river, and you can never step into the same river twice.” — How true of absolutely everything in life.
      Going with the flow is difficult at times, but it does not help us to try and swim upstream. Thanks for your kind words of support … It has been and interesting time so far and I am sure there are many surprises ahead..
      “vive la différence”

  6. This was the first time that I too had been in church since you left – with being away for two Sundays and then the Golf tourney. St Mark’s was indeed changed. I kept expecting you to run in and “change” something
    during choir practice or to be out chatting at the Welcome Desk. When I got
    home I felt restless so I went and worked in my garden because someone
    said” You are nearer to God in a garden than any place on earth”
    God Bless.

    1. The garden is a great place to commune with God.
      As weeks go by, you will no doubt see God at work in the change that is taking place in your community.
      Each day we each have to struggle with change, some of it we like and some of it challenges us greatly.
      What I do know is God is doing marvellous things in the community that you worship in … keep the faith
      Miss you all.

  7. Change is difficult we are also in the throws of a major change in our lives . I have put my trust in god to help lead us . You will come through this change as we are trusting god for our other change at St Marks By The Lake . You are a good man Kevin George yes boy Bless you Vicar Pam

  8. Life is full of changes and we always depend on our faith to learn to accept change. However, our faith can’t take away completely our loneliness or fears for the future but faith can make us stronger and able to face whatever God asks us to do. Personally, I sit in my back yard and thank God for the beauty of his world and for dear friends who help me through the changes I have experieced. God bless you, Kevin. Let the people at St. Aidan’s see that you are truly a ‘Man of God’. We miss you so much! Love you both!

  9. Hi Kevin, I was reading the responses to your blog. It is very interesting that people head for the garden when dealing with change. The garden is one place that is always in flux, always changing. The seasons of the year are very present there. I am myself discovering just how difficult change can be. Retiring from the world of work and value really changes your head. You have to find your value in and of itself outside of the cash value of your work. That isn’t so easy to do.

    1. Hi Bob
      That is an interesting observation — the garden is always in flux and always in change…so why retreat there…? That leads to interesting reflection if you ask me. … also very true that we gave to buck the notion that our value is wrapped up in cash value… and that is very difficult to do

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