Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Older I Get...the less I want to change

From the time I was 13-years-old, Mrs. Somerville was my mentor.  She was my pastor's wife at The Bible Church of Pampa.  You wouldn't expect a 60ish woman to relate to teenagers.  But we knew she loved us and her age just didn't  matter.  She was still my mentor as I attended her Bible studies in my mid-20's in Amarillo.  By then, she was 70ish.  I remember telling her one day (naively) that I couldn't wait until I was older and had everything figured out.  I remember her throwing her head back and laughing!  I was very confused.  She looked at me and said, "Why in the world do you think older people have everything figured out?"  Why indeed?  She graciously showed me how she was still figuring things out.

I've thought on that quite often.  Why did I think older people had everything figured out?  Because I didn't see much change in their lives.  By the time they were in their 50's, they were on a path that appeared sure and steady.  No changing involved.

Of course, now that I'm 57, I do realize how naive that was.  We never get everything figured out!!  But you know what?  There really wasn't much changing going on in the generations before me.  Think about families in the generations ahead of me.  Families stayed together, men stayed with one job for a lifetime, kids were pretty normal (besides the hippy stuff going on, of course)...there just wasn't much change.  Churches did things the same way they'd always done things...we sang the same basic songs each Sunday. I'm sure there were changes during that time, but it was slow change.

We live in a different time.  And change is inevitable.  And it's hard.  For you young things, you need to know that the older you get, the less you want to change.  People around my age already know that.  But what I hope we all get is that God created change.  And yet He's the only thing that doesn't change.  I believe it's so we will look to Him in the midst of things changing all around us and find our equilibrium.  Look at the seasons; they change.  Children change.  Growing things change.  God wants us to change--we're to be conformed to the image of Christ--and that involves change.

Can I just say this?  WE WANT WHAT'S COMFORTABLE!!!  I'd like nothing more than to wrap myself in a warm cocoon and hide my head while the world passes by.  I'd like to not be affected by change.  And yet there's a part of my inner self that craves adventure.  Isn't it crazy that both things exist simultaneously?

I guess what God is teaching me at this time of extreme change in my life is to embrace the changes.  It's good.  It keeps me drawing closer to Him.  And He's fulfilling the adventure I've always craved.  He's my place of comfort.  I can't find it in a place, in a person, or in a position.  He's jealous that way.  I've watched too many people who refuse to change and it brings about death.  Think about it--and look around.  I think you'll agree.  Growing things change.  And people or churches or businesses who refuse to change will eventually die.  They may not die physically but there's just no life!

Let's embrace change. I can promise--it won't be comfortable.  But I also believe our time on this earth is short.  Do we want to be comfortable or do we want to please God and be a part of His advancing kingdom plan?  As uncomfortable as it may be...I'm choosing change!  After all, Mrs. Somerville showed me how to effect change even in your 90's.  She lead Bible studies in the nursing home she chose to go to.  She was all about change.  And she lived fully and led an amazing life until she died at 97.

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