The shifting of winter to springtime is maybe the most joyful handful of weeks in all of creation. Sharp winds turn into breezes, trees start blooming, the sun stays a little longer each day and people literally can't keep grins off their faces.
I love this change of season.
Other kinds of changes I don't like so much. In fact, in general, I tend to not like change so much. Especially when I don't choose it.
I don't experiment. I like to find something that works and stick with it, ya know? I've used the same hairspray since high school, and the same brand of peanut butter since the beginning of my time on Earth.
Sometimes, like with hairspray, not changing is fine. Other times, like with life, it's not.
Often I find myself white-knuckle hanging on to seasons and people and things, unable and unwilling to let one pattern fade into another. When I sense a shift I don't like coming, I begin to scramble in a valiant effort to keep things just the way they are. Even if the way things are is not super great.
The scrambling comes from the intense desire to be comfortable, I think. This is easy, this is nice, this works. It's known. I like known. Sound familiar?
The need to hang on to things we know, when the world around us is so very unknown, can run deep.
But when things maybe need to change, and you don't let them...that's where life gets uncomfy. I find myself in that place often. Do you? Do you ever cling to something out of fear and pride and the need to be comfortable?
Here's something I'm being reminded of today: God's best work doesn't happen when we're comfortable. God's best work, I've noticed, happens when things are topsy turvy. When we are decidedly uncomfortable. He uses change to spur us forward--to shake us and grow us and make us better versions of ourselves.
If nothing ever changed, we wouldn't need His solid unchangingness to steady our hearts in the midst of upheaval.
Change is not a punishment or a failing, or even a negative. I often think it is. Because some changes are hard. Like when friends begin to pull away, or dynamics shift, or you turn 30. (I've never turned 30, but I've heard.) Change can hurt.
But, maybe, it doesn't have to hurt quite so badly.
One of my favorite authors says that the only way to not get dragged down by waves in the ocean is to relax and just ride them.
In a world that has seasons and puberty and time, change is inevitable. So, maybe, the best course of action is to ride the wave. To not hang on quite so tight to finite, changeable things and cling instead to the the One who is unchanging, even while everything else is in constant motion.
And, truthfully, the next wave probably won't be all that bad. As one pattern disappears another will begin. And it will be different, but probably also good. Because God is good.
The goodness can't be appreciated, though, unless you let go of the thing before and choose to ride the wave.