No one who is really honest with themselves will admit that they like change. Yet throughout our lives change is inevitable. Personally I am going through a season of change; there have been changes at work, at my place of worship and in my personal life. How we deal with change is what can make the difference between it being a difficult or easy. So I am going to share my thoughts on these changes.
I work in the medical field so change is always a part of my life at work. As new information comes out the way we do things at times seems to change every day. Whether it is a new procedures, new equipment, or the criteria we use to determine what test is needed. There is always change. My first reaction to many of these changes was that there was no need to change. Some doctor goes to some seminar and suddenly my patient load increases because they “learned” something new. Then there are the trivial changes, they have opened more office in our building and because of the increased traffic we are required to park farther away to leave more room closer to the entrance. As a handicapped person this can at times purpose a problem for me. So as a solution they gave made more handicapped spots for the employees, but moved them farther away as not to inconvenience the paying public.
The changes at my place of worship have been dramatic also. Our Lead Pastor of 14 year resigned about a year and a half ago. After an extensive search we hired a new Lead Pastor and he was instrumental in getting back on the right path. His overriding philosophy was “It’s All About Jesus” and that is exactly what we al needed to hear. Unfortunately when you have any organization that has been around for any extended period (our church has been there for over 75years) there are families that have been there as long. As new leadership comes in changes occur as growth happens changes occur and those families begin to lose their grip on the power they have always had. They then pull back and utter those ever popular and destructive words “We have always done it that way” After a year and half this Pastor now has decided to move on and we have another Lead Pastor. So we are not done with this season of change and are entering a new Spring and more change is coming.
My personal life has also gone through a major change. I found out about a month ago that I am Diabetic. Being in the medical field I see the results and consequences of Diabetes on the body. This diagnosis was frightening to me, and would require major changes in how I live my life. I would now have to watch everything I eat. Counting calories and reading labels was going to be something new to me. This was a condition that could threaten my life, and that was a scary thing to think about. I already have physical limitations and now this was added to the mix. The mixture of emotion was extensive to say the least.
Change it is inevitable so what do we do to accept and make change our friend instead of our enemy? Perhaps the one thing that makes the most difference in accepting is our attitude. Attitude is everything when it comes to change. It the case of my work, it was my perspective of what work meant that I had to adjust. Work meant providing a service to others and providing for my family. The increase in work load meant two things. One I had job security, and in the present economic situation that is a wonderful thing. There are so many people out of work and would do anything to have the security I have at work. Second it meant that I could help more people, I got into the medical field to be a service to others, so the more people to serve the better. Those two simple changes in perspective have made a bid difference in how I see the changes at work.
At my place of worship it is a matter of acceptance that with growth there will be change. You cannot grow and not change. Many people will grow starter planets in small pots but as those plants grow if you do not transplant them to bigger and bigger pots they will die. If you insist that I started it that pot and that is where it will stay you have sentenced it to death. That is what happens when we stick to the mantra “We have always done it that way” you are causing what every organization you belong to, to die. Embrace the growth as a gift not a hindrance, the more people the lighter the load and the greater the impact you can have on the community around you. If you are growing you are doing something right, you need to worry if you are not growing. When there is a change in leadership, there is a reason for that change and understand that not all leaders lead the same. You have to ask “Am I committed to the organization or the leader?” If you are only committed to the leader than perhaps you are there for the wrong reasons. In the cases of a house of worship, am I there to worship God or the Pastor? If I am there to worship the Pastor, You need to reevaluate your reasons? It is about acceptance, accept the wonderful gift that your group is growing, realize the impact of that growth and rejoice that you are growing. Accept the new leadership and support them for the good of the whole.
My personal change has been hard, I have had to change my perspective, and accept what is happening. The fear for many is the unknown, and that can make change hard on a personal level. Being in the field there are not to many unknowns and that can make it harder. I know the consequence and long term affects of my disease process, and understands that major lifestyle changes are needed. I am no longer normal. What do you mean I am no long normal? What is normal? My wonderful wife is the rock I lean on and has taught me a lesson in what is normal. When she was nineteen she was in a horrific accident that changed her life forever. She remembers the doctors telling her, that her life would never be normal again. That is a statement that scares most people and it scared her. She persevered and went on to become a very successful business woman. Then 7 years ago she was stricken with complications from her accident and was no longer able to work. Her life was once again not normal. Then the epiphany hit her, she was normal. It was her normal and in each step of her life each change just led her to a new normal. It is a major attitude change, the world will do al it can to tell you what is normal, but when it comes right down to it normal is what you make of it. It is a perspective of accepting what in your life has become the new normal. That is where I am in my life now, I have diabetes to go along with my other handicap and I now have a new normal.
Through all of this there has been in constant in my life that has not changed and that is my faith in God. For me that is the strength I draw upon in all situations. His promise that He will never forsake nor leave me, the promise that no matter the circumstances, everything will work for the good. But no matter what you do or do not believe one thing that you can be sure of is that change will come. It is inevitable! How you handle this will be a test of character and strength, and your attitude in perspective and acceptance will make it either easy or hard. I hope that this small personal glimpse in to my life will help give you some insight on how to handle change in a way that will bring comfort and insight.