Last week a friend told me that she is afraid of change and always has been. In fact, when she was younger, her granny tried to get her embrace change by explaining to her that life is just a whole bunch of changes all strung together.
I loved the retelling of her granny’s wisdom, particularly because she did so in a delightful southern drawl. I loved it, but I also realized something about myself.
All my life I have viewed myself as being the kind of person who likes change. I thought this was true because I like to change my hairstyle, reorganize my closets, rearrange my furniture, and even move to new residences! Yet, those are changes that I make as an act of my will. They are decisions to change something about myself or my environment.
While it is true I love those kinds of changes, what about the changes in my life that I don’t have any control over? Am I as apt to accept and embrace those changes?
Since I spent the last few days feeling sad about some changes in my life outside my control, I would have to conclude I am not at all fond of life-inflicted change. In fact, I think I still have this crazy belief that I will reach a point in my life where everything will fall beautifully into place and be perfectly lovely.
I don’t know where this belief came from. Maybe I watched too many episodes of Fantasy Island in the 80’s. Or maybe I just keep holding out for my own personal utopia.
Either way, I realized the only kind of change I like is change that is MY idea. Everything else throws me for a loop. Yet, God in his goodness just lets me ride around the loop as many times as it takes for me to relax and stop trying to grab the steering wheel out of his hands. When I return to a place of serenity, where I acknowledge that he is in control of my life and not me, I am finally able to sit back and simply enjoy the scenery along the way.
My friend’s granny is right. Life is just a whole bunch of changes all strung together. If we could only learn to embrace that reality, instead of fight against it, we would probably enjoy the ride a whole lot more!
“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.” – Anatole France