The Death and Life of Change

I have a confession. I enjoy change.

I’ll give you a minute with that.

Weird, right?

I do. I love it. It is not always easy. In fact, it is rarely easy. But it is almost always purposeful.

Think about it. When has a change in your life only resulted in negative consequences? I know, you might initially go to the negative consequences. I do too.

I had to move and now I rarely see my friends. It’s terrible. But I have learned so much about myself in the last 7 months. It has been hard, but I have grown.

Maybe you got married and now your holiday traditions are changing. I imagine that is difficult. But, look at what you have gained.

Maybe your car finally quit on you. You love that car. You don’t want to give up the memories of that car. It’s hard to move on. But your new car doesn’t shake violently on the highway and can carry on the tradition of that 1987 Oldsmobile you love so much.

There is a difference, of course, between change and waste. To be honest, if I’ve gone awhile without any change in my life, I will rearrange my furniture just because. I need a change of scenery, a new perspective. But it would be silly to throw out all my furniture and start from scratch every time I got the itch for change. Who could afford that? (If you can, let’s talk.)

The same is true in life. When you move, you don’t throw out your old friends. You adjust how you live in those friendships. And, hopefully, you add new friends. When you get married, you don’t trash all of your family traditions, but maybe the way you carry them out is adjusted to reflect that two have become one. Maybe new traditions are birthed out of two family histories merging. When you have to trade in your car, you don’t stop going to the places the Oldsmobile carried you. You just have a different vehicle to carry you to your destinations now and it can carry you further distances without spewing radiator fluid all over the pavement.

The old way isn’t bad. My current furniture arrangement works great in my little apartment. No one would look at it and think, “You should really change this set up.” But, I know, in a month or two, I will need some change and, even though my furniture is heavy and I live alone, I will have to do some hard work to find a new perspective to allow for creativity to live in my space.

In every arena, change is hard. We hold onto our routines, our traditions. They feel safe, familiar. The floor plan is working, why change it? It’s too difficult to change things. It hurts. It feels like we might lose something. And it is true, we might. It is guaranteed, actually. When you marry, you lose something. You die to self. When you move, you lose something. I lost the comfort of coming home to roommates, the ease of driving 5 minutes to spend time with a friend.

But if we don’t change? If we are unwilling to continue to rearrange when the time comes? We lose something in that as well. We lose the promise of growth. We lose the goodness of new horizons. We die, but not on purpose.

Tradition is good. Change is good. They are not opposites. Change uses tradition to propel us onward. It takes the thing we value and gives it new life.

What changes are you resisting? Which ones are you embracing? Do you, like I do, enjoy change?

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