I was asked a number of years ago how I feel about change. I responded in the words of the common philosophy that we change or die. This past year has been a year of change on a number of different fronts – perhaps you’ve felt it too. With change comes opportunity…the constant companion of change…perhaps the very reason we resist change so forcefully…to our own personal peril.
The old saying that opportunity knocks but once is possibly true, except when change brings it around and threatens to knock your door down until you make some decisions. And so we examine our opportunities and choose life, not that I always see it that way when I hear the footsteps of change on my front porch.
I’ll talk about change today. But, I’ll also talk about gratitude, because if change knocks and I can’t find the beauty, I’m destined for a life of lost opportunities and disappointment that will force me to change for the worse.
New opportunities for change began banging on our front door in the early morning hours of last July 12 when our building on Cedar Street was on fire. We were quickly reminded that “the church” is the people who gather and when we gather, not the building we are accustomed to or privileged to gather in; however, we do have an expectancy to get back into our familiar surroundings for the sheer comfort of that familiarity. I’m happy to report that the extensive reconstruction is under way and moving along well.
I will always be blessed by the calls I received from area pastors and church families expressing their desire to help us by sharing their facilities in some form or another while our home sanctuary is being repaired. This opportunity to work together in this fashion is what I hold as most precious and what we are most grateful for. I deeply appreciate the opportunity the White River School District gave us in renting the old school auditorium to us for a couple of months. However, when we realized that wonderful building was not facilitating our style of gathering and worship, we were able to accept the opportunity to share the Grace Lutheran facility with that church family – they meet at their usual morning time and we meet at 1:30 in the afternoon. What a blessing they have been to us. Thank you Grace Lutheran!
Real change is in line with the words of the Apostle Paul to the Roman Christians (Romans 12:2) where he talks about transformation. The Greek word Paul uses is metamorphosis – talk about change: A worm knits himself a sock, sleeps in it for a while, wakes up and crawls out and he can fly! I don’t think our fire will totally remake our church family to that extent, but I do look forward to its being a change-agent God is using to facilitate changes in our lives for his good and for our good. I just believe that.
Mary and I have had other change events this past year that have proven to provide great opportunities for personal growth. I choose to allow these opportunities to impact my life for beautiful and life-altering change. After all, I’d rather flutter like a butterfly than continue to just crawl around like the worm he once was. And, some of those change opportunities are beautiful in and of themselves, regardless of what change they facilitate.
Speaking of change, how about that new president? I choose to welcome the opportunities our change of presidential leadership will offer us in the coming years. While I don’t believe this change is the answer many folks energetically suggest, neither do I see it as the question others harshly pose. History reveals to us that many have gone before us with well intentioned answers to the tricky questions life poses, only to find the issues of life we create for ourselves are not so easily solved. If only…
So, metamorphose change is a God-ordained, God-created process and I simply choose to submit to it. By doing so, I ultimately submit to God himself and I cannot, for the life of me, see a down side to it! The beauty eventually reveals itself if I’ll but stay in the process. How about you?
You can find Cedar Community Church gathering at 1:30 p.m. Sundays at Grace Lutheran, 525 S. Division in beautiful Buckley.
Have a wonderful week!