I don’t know about you, but I hate change.
I think I’ve dealt with this since I was a baby– loud noises and changes in environment caused me to start crying and freak out. Now I don’t cry as much, but I still freak out (usually just in my head). It’s funny though, because my childhood involved a great deal of change- we moved around for the first twelve years of my life, first living in Texas, then England, then Norway. Now, I know that there are some people who lived in over twenty places growing up, so I can’t complain, but I almost think that it would have been better to move every few months or couple of years. After a while, you get used to it– we spent four years in every place, so by the time I had settled in and felt comfortable, we’d move. I’m glad we lived overseas, and I do believe the moving helped me feel close to my family. But I still hate change.
And now, here I am in Wheaton, IL, with my sister in another state, my friends and family in Texas, and my parents on another continent. I made this move for a number of reasons, and I had a number of fears about the decision. Some have come true. It’s been a hard time. But also a good time.
Looking back, I can see the goodness in change. At camp, we went through a number of changes over the course of a few summers– we continually called it “a summer of transition” for a number of summers. I was rebellious and reacted poorly against the change, in some ways understandably and in other ways overreacting to little things. Looking back, however, there’s been good in the change, and God has worked through it all.
I think this is the difficulty of life, that we can’t see things as they really are. We all have different lenses through which we see the world. I see things differently than you, and even more, I see things differently than I did before or I will in the future. What do they say? “Hindsight is 20/20”? Truth be told, hindsight often involves seeing all the good things and forgetting the bad. That’s why it’s hard for adults to understand young people sometimes– they (we?) see all the life lessons and the benefits of going through hard times, while all that a teen can see is the pain and hurt of high school. Looking to the future, we can often imagine all the bad things that might happen. I come from a family of caution-prone Weppler, always aware of the fifty possible outcomes in a situation, all of them bad. It’s easy to look at the future and only see the bad changes taking place.
That being said, it’s easy to look at the past and only see the bad (e.g. someone who had a terrible time in high school and can’t remember the happy moments) and to look at the future and only see the good (e.g. when we dream of who we might be in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, 50 years). I think what this comes down to is that our perspective is flawed. We can’t see things as they truly are.
Fortunately, for the Children of God, there will come a day when we can see things for what they are, no longer looking through a dirty window, but with redeemed eyes and minds. And I’m sure that we will see the prevalent evil of the age in more detail than we’d like to see, but I also know that we will see all the fingerprints of God in our world, all the little ways He showed up and showed His love in the details.
So, change is hard, but God is good. Someday, I hope to look back on this time and smile. Until then, I must see it all with eyes of faith.
For the Ears- Andrew Peterson’s album Light for the Lost Boy is an amazing work on the pain of growing up and the loss of innocence. One day I was driving home, listening to the album, and I found tears welling up in my eyes. (And I hardly ever cry– not because I’m a “manly man” but just because.) If you want a good cry and a taste of heaven, give it a listen.
For the Funny Bones- Boy Meets World is a classic 90s TV Show. Now, do I feel strongly about it because I was a kid that watched it growing up, or because of its own strong qualities? Well, probably a little bit of both. But if you want a bitter sweet episode about change, check out this episode on YouTube (and you can also find the rest of the series there as well!)