“Change is inevitable. Growth is an option.”
This quote is hanging in my bathroom so I see it every morning and every night (And a few times in between, too.).
This past year has been filled with change, some welcome, some not. Who would have thought that going to church, work, or school online would be the norm? Or that we’d be wearing face masks every time we step out the door?
I remember once seeing a photo of people in Beijing wearing cloth face masks because the smog was so thick and they had trouble breathing. I chuckled at how silly they looked. I realized they needed the protection, but I was sure no one in America would ever do the same.
Fast forward several decades, and here we are, having to wear face masks, like it or not. And some folks resort to violence when they’re forced to change.
The quote up there says it all. “Change is inevitable.” There will always be change. Sometimes, it comes gradually, like growing up, gaining weight, or losing your hair. Once in a while, it hits us over the head, like losing our job, falling in love, or getting a terminal diagnosis.
Some change is good, like getting married, starting a new job, or moving to a bigger house. And obviously, some change is not so good: losing a loved one, being in a car accident, or having a friend cut us out of their life with no explanation.
Even good changes can be hard to deal with. In fact, some studies have shown getting married or starting a new job are among the top causes of stress! And those are changes we want. Imagine the stress of changes we don’t want. Wait – we already know about those.
No matter what changes, one area we can always control is our reaction to our circumstances. I heard once that when it snows, we can complain about it or we can enjoy it. Either way, we’ll still have the same amount of snow. So sit back, watch the sun make it sparkle, and enjoy it. And, if you live in Colorado, let the sun clear the sidewalks and driveways for you!
The second part of that quote is that growth is an option. Growing up doesn’t necessarily mean maturing. That’s what we expect, but not everyone does it. I know a lady who hasn’t been in a class since she left high school. She decided she had learned enough and didn’t need any more education. Her ignorance and refusal to grow have cost her jobs, friends, and relationships. I hope I never get that way.
I think Reinhold Niebuhr said it right: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Let’s learn to grow with the changes put into our lives.