A Pastoral Word
Life Changes! This is a well known fact. Life is full of change and new experiences. Life is full of new cities, new friends, and new opportunities. Our lives are filled with little life changes. Each year, we get one year older. Each year, families change with the birth of a new baby or with the loss of a loved one. Life changes!
It seems like I have been experiencing quite a few life changes recently and they have made me start to wonder about the journey that we are on.
In February, Mike and I drove up to Grand Rapids, Michigan and helped his parents begin the process of packing up thirty years in one house to prepare for a new house in a new town. Both of Mike’s parents will be retired by the beginning of March and then they will move to Indianapolis, to a new house, a new town, and a new football team, much to the disappointment of my husband who was raised on Detroit Lions’ football and who is still an avid fan.
On the drive up to Michigan, Mike began to reflect on his childhood, and started telling all those stories that I had heard before and I just nodded along. We stayed the week, packing up photos, and reminiscing over family occasions. On the way back to Kentucky, Mike looked at me and said, “I no longer have my childhood home to go back to.” I just nodded along because this is something that I couldn’t understand. My childhood home is still there for me in North Carolina, as a special retreat and a sense of security. I still feel connected to my roots in North Carolina which gives me the wings to experience new opportunities in life.
I told Mike, “Well, you still have our home to come home to. You still have me and our animals to welcome you home.” I could tell this was not what he wanted to hear and so we drove for a while in silence.
Life Changes! Why are we so uncomfortable with these life changes? What makes us dread them so much? Life Changes.
Even as I write this, I am looking at my calendar and looking at a red letter day for me. I will turn a decade older this year! No longer will I be able to circle the 20-29 spot on forms. I have to move up a spot!
And I know that as I share this life change with you, many of you are just chuckling at me and are probably saying, Heather, that’s nothing. Wait until you turn ____? (I’ll let you fill in the blank.) Thirty was easy. It’s when you turn _____ you should start to worry. Once again, I’ll let you fill in the blank.
Life changes with all different life changes. It seems as if the year goes by faster every year. February is finished and now we begin March. And soon March will be finished and then we start April. If you are not careful, I might just start singing, “The Circle of Life”, which would not be pleasant for anyone.
Life changes! Or as the author of Ecclesiastes said much more eloquently and poetically than me:
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to break down and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek and a time to lose; a time to keep and a time to throw away; a time to tear; and a time to sew; a time to keep silence and a time to speak; a time to love and a time to hate; a time for war and a time for peace.”
Life changes! There is an order to the things that happen in our lives and to world around us. There is order as the seasons changes, and the months go by. And here is the Good News! The order of the world was determined by God. The same God who watches over us each and every day. As life changes, we begin to understand that God made everything and will make everything right in God’s time. We may not exactly understand our life changes or why they are happening around us. But we know that God is with us in each and every one of these life changes.
So we can stop worrying about what is going to happen tomorrow and we can stop worrying about turning another decade older. (Or at least I promise to try to stop worrying at this big red letter day!) And we can enjoy life with all of its changes! We can enjoy these new experiences without apprehension and know that that God is watching over us and guiding us on our journey, that God has put certain people in our lives at certain times to help us work through and work with these many life changes.
God wants us to enjoy the ride of life with all of its hills, twists and turns, and tunnels. God wants us to live our lives to the fullest. And as we get to the top of the hill on this rollercoaster we call life, God wants us to raise our hands, to laugh, and enjoy!
Life Changes! May we always live our life to the fullest with all its ups and downs, twist and turns.