Saturday, 22 March 2014

Change is Coming

I spent my day watching the Redeemer men’s hockey team play their final competitive tournament of the year - Brandon’s final competitive tournament with Redeemer ever, and a realization hit me...

Change is coming... it’s practically here...

This simple six-letter word is a mixed bag of excitement and fear, opportunity and instability, growth and loss. It is a word that keeps me awake at night, paralyzes me, and leaves me grasping to hold onto what I have now.

Yet, it is unavoidable. I wish I could say that I love change, especially since it happens so often in such a wide variety of ways. I wish I could easily transition from one stage to the next. I wish I felt invigorated when change looks me straight in the face.

But... I don’t.

I find it hard to imagine myself in a new apartment, in a new job or school, in a new city, and with new people. I find it hard to imagine leaving my current apartment, current school, current city, with the current people. Change is hard.

If I am being honest, I know the real root of why change challenges me so greatly... Change brings the promise of the unknown and the unknown brings a lack of control.

And I like control.

I like to have an idea of where I stand in the community I am a part of, I like to know what is going to happen, I like to plan, organize, teach, lead... likely all to maintain such control. It is comfortable here, established. It is easy to go through life unchallenged. It is what I know and have come to love.

Yet change, in one foul swoop, seems to strip me of all of this control and comfort, leaving me in a place where I feel weak, helpless, dependent, and fragile. A place where I need to trust someone else and lean not on my own understanding. A place where I have to loosen up, let things happen to me, and trust that things are going to turn out just fine.

Perhaps change is the best things to cut away some of my stagnancy.

The thing is, when you stay in one place for too long, in the same routine for too long, with the same exact lifestyle for too long, you can grow stagnant. You can ebb and flow through life without really challenging yourself or those around you. You can get caught up in the meaningless, bogged down by the shallow, and hurt by the harmless.

Now, I am not suggesting that everything suddenly become uprooted in your life but perhaps simple changes, and sometimes big changes, are necessary to push you to the next level. The next place for you to flourish. Perhaps the fear of going into the chrysalis is keeping you from emerging as a butterfly. Perhaps the fear of change may keep you from flying.

If I look over my short life, I see changes in every capacity. I would not be here in my current state that I am trying to hold onto if I had not gone through other difficult changes. I can see how much I’ve grown. I can see how much I’ve flourished. I can see how much I have taken flight.

And I know I will again.

Perhaps I am sentimental, perhaps a tad dramatic but the feelings and fears are real. And I'm sure I'm not alone. We can't avoid change and perhaps we shouldn't try to. It is okay to grieve the loss of the closing chapters in our lives. It is okay to feel deeply the effects of change. But it is not okay to let the fear paralyze you from changing. Change is necessary. Change is good.

And so, I strive to remember these things (and I hope you do too) as I know that watching Brandon’s last competitive hockey game on Redeemer’s team will be the first of many lasts, the first of many changes in the coming weeks.

It is the start of a wild ride of graduating, moving, travelling, saying hello and saying goodbye all in the next two months...

Let the change begin.

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