Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Cor 5:17
Change is hard. It just is. But not all change is bad – sometimes it’s very welcome. And at those times the difficulties are easily overlooked. We are going on vacation this week. That is change – but it’s a very welcome and exciting change that we are looking forward to. It’s still hard though. I’m not complaining but I’m just saying that all the arrangements and the packing and the getting ready to go – the long todo lists and the worrying about making sure everything is done and ready to go – that’s not easy. But I’ve been doing it all with a big smile on my face. The reward is worth the effort. Mostly because I am getting the reward.
Sometimes we have to make the effort to change and it seems to us that someone else gets the reward – and that’s a lot harder. Marriage brings many opportunities to discover this. For instance, when I got married I had to change the way I cleaned up after myself. I didn’t do this for me. I already had a system and it functioned very well. Part of my system involved piles of strategically placed clothing (dirty, dirtier, dirtiest – you men know what I mean) and another system that worked very well was playing brinkmanship with the dishes. This basically involved using every possible creative means available to use whatever dish or utensil or pan that was still clean and leaving it dirty for the next guy. You only lost if you were the one who went to eat and there was nothing left clean to eat with. My new wife did not enjoy this game. So I had to change.
I knew she was in the right but it still left me a little sore that I was the one who had to change. Why didn’t she just get accept the way I did things? But I have learned over time (and men please don’t think of me as a traitor for saying this) to find a certain pleasure and satisfaction for getting things all clean and shipshape – everything in order and put away where it belongs. By embracing the change and accepting it, then I also receive a reward. I honestly get a good feeling looking at the kitchen all sparkling clean.
There are some changes coming in the church – not huge things but important things. For instance we are updating our website. We are going to be posting more things there, more often. Meanwhile we are going to be scaling back the bulletins that you get each Sunday. A lot of things in the bulletin are going to move and find their new home on the website – especially information about events and church going-ons. This will be a difficult change I know for some people, while others are going to love it. I hope that everyone will eventually find a way to accept and live with it – even if they don’t get to the point of embracing it. Give it some time.
Look at how far I have come. Maybe I still don’t dust but at least I appreciate and enjoying getting things tidy. I am growing. And the church is growing too. I’m not talking here just in size – I’m talking about where it really counts – in maturity. And as we mature as Christians we care less about the rewards we are getting and more about serving the needs of others. This can be hard sometimes but what can make it easier is when you remember that our life on earth is really just about us packing for our journey home. What do you want to take with you?