Thriving in change?

By Gavin Davies on 21 August 2012

Change isn’t good or bad, it’s a new set of circumstances…

“Every time you have McDonald’s as a kid, it’s a victory. Every time you have it as an adult, it’s a defeat.” – Graham Linehan

I’ve heard people blindly say “I don’t like change”. This can seem cowardly to me. Change can be for the better, it helps the human mind to grow and adapt – in fact, I’ve read studies that suggest it stops us from seizing up mentally! Change is not always bad.

The extreme counterpoint position would be that “change is good”. As I’ve said, change is good for the mind but a blanket statement like this seems foolish to me. Some changes can be negative – an unscrupulous dictator coming to power, for example. Change is not always good.

Change is just change – it’s a set of new circumstances. It’s often outside one’s control. It happens all the time. It’s a fact of life. It can be hard, easy, fun, exciting, terrifying, upsetting or all of the aforementioned. It generally contains a mix of challenge and opportunity.

Challenge by Japanther – this is one of my all-time favourite tracks. Challenge and opportunity.

The question is – what to do in a period of extreme change?

I’m going through a lot of change at the moment. I don’t mean I’m on hormones or anything – but here’s just a few things that are changing:

  • My lady is moving to live much closer to me, although it’s uncertain as to when
  • I’m moving my mortgage and billing account to a more ethical provider (I already moved my cash and savings, it’s just the scary one at the moment – my billing account with all the direct debits!)
  • For medical reasons (which are not life threatening – just wear and tear), I can no longer do the same level of physical activity I used to
  • My job role has changed and continues to develop. Great opportunities and positive change, but moving quickly
  • Friends moving on

That’s a lot of change. Some of it is fantastic news (particularly about my girl!), and some of it is difficult to deal with. It is also opportunity. I don’t want to flatly state “every difficulty is an opportunity” or something trite like that, but there are paths that I can take that will make me a stronger and more effective person. My finance changes, for example, are all to make sure that what money I have is ethically used.

In a time of change, I will naturally look to the things that don’t move. I love the Bible. I am so many millions of miles from living up to its teaching but I still feel that it gives me a compass of right and wrong. God doesn’t change, and I’m grateful for that constant.

A period of intense change isn’t easy, I’d be daft to pretend it was. There are some great things happening, and there are some tough things to cope with. I refuse to fear them, however – I decide with my will to keep a positive attitude even in the things I find more challenging. That’s part of faith, I guess. I don’t take my security or identity from circumstance. I take it from the Cross.