Managing Change

In an age of computers, PDAs, mobile phones, satellite communications, instant coffee and microwave cooking, everyone is affected by change. Many people change jobs, others upgrade their education or skills training to meet the requirements of their vocation. Students transit from one level of education to another. Others change address.

Of course, the most obvious we all have to reckon with are the “enforced” changes brought about by the pandemic. Wearing masks and checking in and out through our tokens or Trace Together app has become our new norm. The Circuit Breaker (CB) period was trying, especially for young families, as we were all confined to our homes except for buying food and groceries and for those in essential services. I consider these minor compared to those who were hit by the virus itself, who lost their jobs and are living in poverty.

I have been musing about changes in my life and ministry as well, especially in the last year or more as I reached the full retirement age of 67. This new platform of ministry in QuadC is the result of these musings (please read, About Us – My Story, in this website). I am immensely grateful to God for His grace and wisdom, and this wonderful opportunity to continue serving Him, His people and society through this platform and transition.

It is obvious that the world is changing. It always has and it always will. It should be just as obvious that we are also changing and must change. The simple truth is that life requires change. Without it, we will not be able to survive and thrive. A key to flourishing is resilience, and resilience comes about when we are adaptable to change (as well as have the resources of character, competency and community). Research also shows that adaptability is a key to marital and family happiness.

Most of us are for change, at least in theory. But changes are often bittersweet. Though people enjoy change, there is nevertheless a natural resistance to change. We are either not inclined to take risks or unwilling to suffer pain. Sometimes proposed changes will cause us more work. Other times, they may incur a painful good-bye to what has become a comfortable pattern.

As such our motto seems to be: “There abides faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is status quo!” Otherwise, we might just utter the most famous Seven Last Words of the Church, “We’ve never done it that way before!” Or, the modern paraphrase that says, “We’ve tried that, but it didn’t work!”

The question remains as to what needs to be changed – personal, marital, family, interpersonal, work, church ministry? – and the issues involved. I cannot stipulate specifically for you any of these though I can say, that generally speaking, that anything un-Christlike and do not reflect the virtues and commands of Scripture needs change.

If you are married and have a family, your spouse and children are wonderful but painful mirrors to indicate what needs to be change (you can’t hide your flaws, frailties and follies)!  At work, feedback from subordinates, colleagues and employers are another good indicator. In church, we need to understand the times as the men of Isaachar did (I Chron 12:32) and changed accordingly. As the good old Youth for Christ (YFC) motto has it: “Geared to the times but anchored to the Rock.”

Change is critical if we want to grow and survive (and thrive). May our unchanging God help us in a journey of transformation into His likeness and empower us with His wisdom and grace to navigate a world of change.