By Graham Glover –
For many, it’s the most dreadful “four-letter” word in their vocabulary.
Even though change happens every day, many people aren’t comfortable with it. They don’t like it and certainly don’t accept it.
I’m not a big fan of change either. I like predictable things. I like knowing what to expect. I like stability. I am comfortable with tradition and am generally disposed to a conservative view on things. Perhaps this is why I work for two organizations that are not at the forefront of advocating change: the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and the United States Army.
But regardless of how we feel about it, change is a reality for us all. No matter how much we resist it, change affects most every aspect of our lives. Nothing is constant. Nothing is beyond change. We may crave stability. We may prefer to conserve the things we know. But change will eventually come. It always does. So, it would behoove you – me, to learn to accept change. I’m not saying we need to like it, but we are living in a naïve, imaginary world if we think we can exist without change.
What then are those of us to do whose world is changing in ways we still can’t believe are happening? How are we to accept this change if we believe it is fundamentally wrong – for us, our family, and our communities?
I have in mind those who are not happy with the way they think our politics have changed. I have in mind those who look to the changing societal norms and cultural mores and are astonished with what is now acceptable. I have in mind those who look to the Church and their churches and see a changing landscape that is radically different from the one they grew up with. I have in mind all of us who are hesitant to change – who are quick to rebut any and all change that we don’t like.
It’s time for us to change. It’s time for all of us to accept the changing world we live in. It’s time to realize that things are not going back to the way we once knew. It’s time to live in their here and now and not in a past that will never reappear.
This isn’t to say we need to support the change that can sometimes be overwhelming. We don’t necessarily need to advocate for the change. But we need to learn to accept it. We need to accept the new reality and learn how to live in and among our ever-changing world. Our politics might be different. Our culture might not be the same. The Church and our churches may not resemble what it used to be. Such is the reality of change. Such is the reality of life.
But it’s time. It’s time for all of us to accept our changing world, and in so doing, become the advocates of change for the future.