In Others’ Words: Is Change a challenge an opportunity or a threat?

change is 2015

I like change a whole lot better than I used to.

I guess growing up does that to you. I’m not who I used to be — and I’m thankful. And, if I have anything to say or do about it, I won’t be the same person a year from now.

I clung to who I was for a long, long time. Habits. Thought patterns. My identity. Wrong thing to do, that. Once I realized that who I was needed to grow up, I realized changing wasn’t a threat — in fact, it was just the opposite.

Changing was a challenge, yes — in a good way. It can be summed up in This is who I was — now who was I supposed to become? I had to let go of what I was used to and be willing to be uncomfortable — to not recognize myself for a while.

Changing was an opportunity to discover who I was according to God’s design, not according to  some other person’s expectations or opinons. Expectatons change. Opinions change. How do you keep up with changing expectations and opinions, much less satisfy them?

The good news? God does not change. What he wants of you, want he wants for you — that remains the same today, tomorrow, and forever.

In Your Words: How do you feel about change? Is it a challenge? An opportunity? Or a threat? Are you experiencing any changes right now? 

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  1. March 25, 2015, 12:19 am   /  Reply

    The changes my health has gone through in the last ten days…definitely a threat. It’s not what I would have chosen, it’s not welcome, and the prospects for the future are, frankly, terrifying.

    An opportunity? No. Absolutely not. If I do die of this, in this passage…it is a horrible way to go. Painful, vile, and terribly disheartening.

    I could prettify it by calling it a ‘challenge’, but that exercise would simply be the construction of a Potemkin village over the ugly truth of a lethal illness. Sure, it’s challenging, but I’ve had rather more challenges with this SOB (pardon me) in the past months than I can count. If God thinks I need another one He’s out of His mind.

    The only thing one can really do, under the circumstances, is to play each hand dealt with attention and aggressiveness, and as much skill as one can muster. The House may control the odds, and the game itself may be hateful, but that does not absolve the player of a best effort, one carried out with forthright honour, courtesy, and fair play.

    One may face a cruel apotheosis, but it still behooves a gentleman to meet the horror and the Hope with humour and fortitude, and perhaps therein are found the true definitions of challenge and opportunity.

    • March 25, 2015, 7:26 am   /  Reply

      And ultimately, Andrew, you do see the change in your health — as horrible as it is — as a challenge and an opportunity. And you accept it. You choose to continue to be who you are: a fighter, a warrior, a man who does not give up. This change could threaten who you are, but you choose to be Andrew in the midst of it all. Is it always pretty? No, but it is honest. An “ugly truth,” yes, about a lethal illness — but God values suggest honesty more highly than I think we realize.

  2. susan
    March 25, 2015, 5:22 am   /  Reply

    I’ve gotten better at it with age too, but change will never be my favorite thing! Knowing that God never changes has been a HUGE help for me in this. I love having something steady to cling too:)

    • March 25, 2015, 7:27 am   /  Reply

      Agreed, Susan. Change will never be my favorite thing. It can still catch me unawares. Still cause me to cling to what I have now, who I am now. But when I can relax into God — and who He is — the change is easier.

  3. March 25, 2015, 6:56 am   /  Reply

    One lens through which we might look at this quotation is the life and words of Kara Tippetts; if anyone turned change into challenge and opportunity, she did.

    One thing I have noticed of late, is that, with her passing, the emphasis has turned from “She is showing us how to live” to “She showed us how to die with grace”.

    Laudable, yes, but the whole point of her life seemed to be in opposition to becoming a poster woman for a classy death; I fear we may overlook the vibrancy and spirit of her being to pull the takeaway WE, as a society, seem to want.

    Love to hear anyone’s thoughts on this.

    • March 25, 2015, 7:36 am   /  Reply

      Right now the emphasis of how we view Kara Tippets has shifted, Andrew. We watched her live under the spectre of cancer — continue to live with hope and trust and vibrancy. Loving her husband. Her children. Her friends. her God.
      But even she acknowledged that she was dying. That things were shifting and that she was learning to live and die at the same time … realizing that she was having to let go … to say goodbye even as she prepared for heaven.
      And so the emphasis now, these few days after she died, is on how she died with grace and trust and hope.
      So few people are so transparent about their living and dying so that others may watch … and learn. Through her writing, through her blog, Mundane Faithfulness, Kara invited others close. A discussion was started … questions asked and answered … and the conversation continues.
      Cancer was a threat that she allowed God to turn into a challenge and an opportunity.

      • March 25, 2015, 7:58 am   /  Reply

        Quite a legacy; I just hope that one day, her memory will shine brightly for how she lived, and loved.

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