Some changes happen in the blink of an eye. (Think a lightning bolt strike.)
Some changes are such gradual transformations that the difference is nearly imperceptible except when glimpsed from afar. (Think the Grand Canyon’s creation.)
Changes may be monumental, calamitous, or inconsequential. The big changes are instantly recognizable, but the small, subtle shifts are often missed.
Little or big, gradual or instantaneous, many of us struggle with change and our reaction to it. Too often, I find myself unwilling to accommodate the changes in my life, pressing on as if things were the same as they’ve always been.
Over the course of years, as I’ve gone from a working, single woman to a harried, at-home mom of a passel of children, my approach to most everything has changed – by necessity.
As I moved from spending my days in an office to my house, the sins and weaknesses I struggled with shifted. My approach (or lack thereof) to house cleaning somersaulted. My relationship with my husband changed, grew, and changed some more. Approaches and plans that had worked in the past ceased to produce results.
As Holy Week approached this year, I was disappointed in what I’d “gotten out of” Lent. Mere days remained until Easter, and still I felt as if I hadn’t taken to heart the penitential spirit of the season. I hadn’t experienced growth. No deep spiritual insights or consolations. And I hadn’t DONE anything.
As I scurried from task to task and activity to activity, I became preoccupied with doing rather than being. And doing in precisely the same way I’d always done.
I was struck by a Facebook post by Father Michael Rothan. He wrote:
“So often, especially during this time of year, people look back on their childhood with a bit of melancholic nostalgia. They wish they were as close to God now as they were when they were little. They were so pious and prayerful. What we have to realize is that our spirituality must grow as we do. What makes you think God wanted your past piety, and He doesn’t want your present pain?”
What is it that made me feel now was inferior to then? That doing was more important than being? That worth was tied to what’s been accomplished? (A notion that, when extrapolated, leads to the devaluing of “nonproductive” lives.)
Maybe you can’t do what you once did – physically, spiritually, mentally. Maybe you have limitations.
Maybe you have changed.
It’s okay. None of us can escape change, good or bad.
Accept, adapt but don’t believe for a second that the present doesn’t matter. That every moment isn’t pregnant with possibility, regardless of the changes or the circumstances. That what you do is more important than who you are. That God doesn’t wait for you right where you’re at.
How do you struggle with change? Recognizing? Adapting to it? Accepting it?