Saturday, June 4, 2011

Things Change

I’ve never been one to handle life changes very well. Maybe I don’t handle any changes very well. I know things need to change from time to time, and I’m always open to suggestions or ideas from others. If someone comes up to me with a really good idea, I have no problem going with it, even if it means change on my part, because I know good is better, naturally. But when it comes to major life changes, I find them to be extremely difficult to go through.

I miss a lot of people. I’ve never been a social butterfly, if you will. I’ve never been one to get out much, and even if I did, in this neck of the woods there just honestly isn’t that much to do. I mean, literally, it’s a choice between going into the next county all the time (which takes gas money), or sitting in the local Kmart parking lot (boy, ain’t that fun!). And so, I just don’t get out much. What that means is that most friends I’ve made over the years have been people I went to school with, worked with, went to church with, or that I met online. I’m grateful for these friends, but when there’s a change in school, work, church, or online activity, I seem to lose touch with many of them. I miss my friends from high school. I miss all the different friends I made at my former job. I miss the people I used to go to church with. I miss my friends from college. And I miss some of my online friends. When things change, I know I am liable to end up falling out of touch with people and missing them. And so, I’m resistant to change.

I reflect a lot on my life. Certain moments, activities, and events I look back on with great fondness. Those are the good times, and… I miss them. I miss when my dad and I played video games together. I miss those calm, peaceful, nights when I worked at the lake. I miss student teaching. I miss going to Wednesday night prayer meetings. I miss going to college. I miss my old girlfriend. I miss when my nephews were babies.

There’s just so much I miss.

I’m too terribly sentimental about things. I leave a hotel room at the end of a vacation and stop and take a last look around to remember it, because I know once I walk out the door, I’ll probably never again be back in that same room. I understand completely why Lot’s wife probably felt that she had to look back before the destruction of Sodom. And I also understand why God told her not to look back. Sometimes it is best not to look back—especially if what you’re looking back at is on the shady side of things (or just outright sinful). But what if what you’re looking back on are the good times in life? In these cases, I think it’s best to remember them well, to cherish them in the bad times, and to always look to the future to include just as many, if not more, good times than the past.

It worries me when things look to be changing. There’s a great deal of unknowns that go along with that change. Will things be better, worse, the same but just different. You never really know upfront. But what helps me get through those worries, and to not worry as much as I otherwise could, is the fact that I know God is leading me in my life. When I look back, I see all the different ways he has guided me, and I see that He’s never failed me. I trust God that my future will hold great promise. I cling to the promise God makes to each of us in Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I believe in this with all of my heart. And so, whenever I begin feeling a bit too sentimental and clingy to the past or present, or worrisome about the future, I just try to remind myself of the promises and faithfulness of the Lord. With that in mind, things can change, and I can know that in the end I’ll be all right, that God will take care of me, and that there’s no reason to worry about whatever may come. God will see me through.

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