“The more things change, the more you grow.” – Reba McEntire
If this is true, and in my case, it seems to be, I am growing like the national debt! Every way I turn, something is moving, shifting, being tossed about, becoming unsettled or unsteady, causing concern…you get the picture. I don’t remember asking God for this particular growth spurt, yet here I am, just growinnnnnnnnnnng.
I handle change pretty well as long as I have warning, preparation, and some better place to be at the end of it. There, I said it but we know that saying it and actually changing are not the same thing. When you make a conscious choice to have a child, move, change jobs or marital status—these are things you choose or leave undone. Don’t worry, I’m still happily married to Roger Dodger, have a job, and don’t know nothing about birthing babies at retirement age, but Roger and I are moving. I am excited about new possibilities and I’m feverishly packing boxes and getting our house ready for sale. So, what am I feeling?
Every week there are at least two or three funerals to attend if I have the time—and these folks are about my age so they’re dying young! AND, my great new interim boss of less than two months, had a heart attack and died Friday.* The one before him stayed only nine months — this was my eighth boss in 12 years. Of course, with every new boss you have to start all over proving you have good sense and we were just discovering how to work together when he died suddenly.
Therefore, I’m praying that our relocation to Memphis will be uneventful. Roger will assume a pastorate July 1 so we will have parishioners and the same place to be every Sunday.** We are calling it adventure, nevertheless, EVERYTHING IS CHANGING!
I don’t know what’s going on with you—maybe lots of change or none at all, but here are two things I do know:
Even when you can’t see or understand what God is doing, God has a plan. Jeremiah 29:11 says the plan is “to prosper you and give you a future with hope.” We can trust God with what comes next, with the details, both large and small—and the beautiful thing here is that nothing will happen today that God doesn’t know about and isn’t working out for our good. So, whether I’m excited or a tad anxious, I am confident that God loves me and keeps blessing me in a magnificent way.
You can’t put stuff off—life is uncertain and fragile. Do it today—whatever IT is. Write that note, go see your Aunt Florence while she can still enjoy a visit. Forgive. Anybody, everybody, yourself. Period. Go on a cruise or to your class reunion and have a ball. Don’t worry about the gray hair and the size 16W. Trust me, you will be looking great for your age! Register for those missing classes and finish your degree. Make a plan to move forward. Remember, change is good, especially when you get to direct and control it.
Today take time to admire the sunrise and sunset and be in awe of the beautiful flowers, trees, and the clouds. Bask in God’s grace and mercy, join in the laughter of happy children, be kind, and remember change is growth, so count it all joy!
*Please keep my colleagues and Dr. Ted Brown’s family lifted in prayer during this difficult time.
**Roger will become pastor at Centenary United Methodist Church, 584 E McLemore Ave, Memphis, TN 38106, July 1. Please plan to join us in worship soon.