Focal Point (for publishing-08/02/05)
Coping with change
Is it a sign of age when we don't cope with change like we used to? Summers seem hotter and the winters seem colder or is it that we are being asked to change more rapidly these days? Even the record-breaking rains and the cold snap last week forced us to change our clothes and our lifestyle. Some of us actually lit our wood fires on the 2nd of February. Change is inevitable, however, if we are to successfully navigate our way through life. But what about changes that are thrust on us? How do elderly grandparents take over the parenting job that their grown children should be doing? How does the keen student cope with the debilitation of Chronic Fatigue? How does the civil engineer handle his or her depression that keeps them from their top job performance? Many couples even enter relationships with no concept of a change in their partner occurring. Disaster for those relationships is in the wind. Speaking of change and marriage, did you know that the years of marriage that accord with the relevant precious metals or compounds, e.g. glass, paper, ruby, diamond and gold etc, have been changed? Changed to suit the lower expectation in reaching the years required. Now you can get diamonds for thirty years instead of waiting the traditional sixty years. We have to face change personally and as contributing members of society even though we would like to keep some things the way they are. Johnny Cash wrote a song with a line, 'I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then'. However with new knowledge comes new responsibility to change. Of course some change is refreshing and welcomed. Moving to a sunny clime, welcoming a new baby, getting a better job, having someone come in and mow your lawns for you when you are battling. Why don't we encourage one another to think of change as an opportunity for growth; it's a choice, and as one of my elderly friends said most wisely, 'one of the most frightening things in life is the power of choice'. The God of the Christian Bible said, among many things, 'choose today whom you will serve', meaning, the gods of money, power, significance and possessions or the God of peace, humility, servanthood and compassion. He also said, and it's a comfort when things seem to be changing beyond our ability to cope, 'I am the one who does not change', 'I am the same yesterday, today and forever'.