Being a pastor’s kid as a child I became very accustomed to moving around and in turn that meant becoming accustomed to change; because everything changes, especially when you’re a pastor’s kid.
Change meant new schools, new friends, new church, and a new house with a new bedroom. Most of the time the new house was really just an old run-down parsonage that the local church body thought was God’s gift to the pastor and his family.
Save Us From The Parsonage
I saw them more as a mediocre, human-sized dog houses conveniently located close enough to the church building that the local church trouble-makers could show up at all hours and spew their stale coffee scented venom whenever they felt the need to do so.
I hated parsonages as a kid.
Changing the wall color meant at least 3 business meetings and a slew of committees to offer their unneeded input as to if the color was appropriate. I realize now it was really just an exercise of control but that realization now doesn’t make my hatred of parsonages go down any less.
Back To The Point
The point is everything changes and with change comes awkwardness, newness and a period of time that I can only liken to jumping off a cliff.
I actually jumped off a cliff once so I know this feeling.
My friend Ronnie and I had ridden past this cliff many times on the lake watching young, brave souls jumping from it’s 35’ crest to land in the water below.
Boats, jet skis and inflatable inner tubes made a half moon shape around the “landing zone” as everyone watched the few adventurous ones repeatedly take the leap.
We decided today would be our day.
We Took A Leap
It didn’t look that high from the water, so we made our way up the embankment to the side of the cliff and found ourselves staring at the water below with only our toes hanging over the edge.
I leaned over to Ronnie and said, “Wow, that looks a lot higher from up here, who’s going first?”
Neither one of us wanted to look like a coward but neither one of us had jumped off a cliff this high before either. As we were discussing how we would jump, a flash in red swim trunks flew past us and dove superman style right off the side of the cliff.
Did You Just See That?
And it wasn’t just any old jump. No, senior swim trunks super manned right over a tree sticking out about 3 feet off the side of the cliff.
We were stunned.
Even more stunned when we realized this crazy daredevil in red was a 12-year-old kid who was getting impatient waiting for us to build up the courage to jump.
There was no avoiding it now, we had to jump. This 12-year-old red-shorted gremlin with an imaginary cape had sealed that fate for us.
Jump or Bust.
That was the choice.
Second Floor Kittens
Well, we both jumped and landed like a bunch of wet kittens thrown out a second-floor window, but we jumped. It wasn’t pretty, there was no diving over trees and we both were sore the next day, but by-golly we jumped.
Most of the time when we find change knocking on our door it usually leaves us with an option that feels like we have to jump.
New job. New House. New location. New family. New President. Jump, Jump, Jump and Jump.
Leap Of Faith
Change happens. It’s always going to happen. What matters is how we handle it when it does. We can either avoid it and live in worry, complain about it and never move, or we can embrace that things change and take our leap of faith walking it out with the best of our ability.
Change is a catalyst that makes us stronger because it challenges our complacency. It’s not the change itself that makes us stronger but what it brings out of us. We either rise or fall by how we respond to change. It’s not the change itself that makes us stronger but what it brings out of us. We either rise or fall by how we respond to change.
We don’t have to always know how to respond, though. Sometimes, we might not have a clue how to deal with the change ahead of us. I think there are a lot of people in that boat today. To those people I’d say, don’t lose hope and don’t lose faith.
Change Doesn’t Have To Be Pretty
Love people well, be heavy with grace and generous with mercy. Don’t lose faith in God’s ability to guide those who are willing to be led by Him and for those who are not willing, don’t lose faith in His ability to surround them with people who are willing to be led by Him. Be one of those people and be willing to jump when your toes are on the cliff.
It doesn’t have to be pretty and you may look like an ugly wet kitten on the way down but you will have jumped and in doing so you will have become part of the change rather than a spectator of it.