Jewel Merritt told me the first year (1981) I sang in Carols By Candlelight that it helped if I could sing but the most important thing was that I be flexible! And I have learned to be fairly flexible over time (you cannot do what I do for a living and for Carols and not be though I confess that I like to be the one in control) but I can and very often do adjust. As I have become more mature (could have just said older!), though, I find myself flexing less.
My first encounter with major change was the BC adventure in 2004 – talk about putting a cramp in your “control” mode! It did make me take a step back and realize that change was often not by choice.
Lately (like most of this year), I feel like every day there is something else changing – looking around me, I am often overwhelmed by the sheer volume of it.
I see the change in the lives of friends who are now walking a journey similar to mine with cancer. I see the and feel the level of concern/anticipation/fear of what is coming at work with a new administration. I get slightly dizzy when I consider the magnitude of change on how financial, human capital, and procurement folks in Mississippi government will do their jobs once we complete the implementation of SAP. I even get a little freaked out when I consider that when Steve’s contract ends in January with the FDIC, he will for real be retired (or so he says – good news there is that he likes to go to the grocery store!!!). And then there is church – seems it is something different every week.
I know God did not create us to stand still. He did not ordain that I sit in the same seat in the choir loft every Sunday morning (I don’t), the same seat in the choir room each week (I do), or carve my name into a pew or a Sunday School room chair. He created us to step forward for Him and change where and when needed. That is a lot easier to say than it is to act on.
I did some looking around in my online NIV version tonight (not sure how we functioned before Google) on the word “change” and where, in context, it is found in scripture. Here are a few of the verses I found.
God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? Numbers 23:19 – I think we know the answer to this question about promises and fulfillment is NO, He does not make promises He does not keep!
He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. Daniel 2:21 There is a lot to this verse. Changes to times and seasons – and I do not think the writer was wrapped up in fall colors or the move to daylight savings time!
I the LORD do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. Malachi 3:6 – OK – here is one of those promises He will fulfill (the words to “He Never Failed Me Yet” come to mind).
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17 CONSISTENT = GOD and the good and perfect gifts are what we need rather than what we think we want.
Finally I looked again at Psalm 51:10 – Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. That process of “creating” means I have to allow Him to change my heart. I pray tonight that my heart, and the hearts of those around me, will not be hardened and that we will be a part of change in such a way that what matters is how we become His Church and not be so tied to what may occur inside the building or in the process. Join me and let’s direct our worship to the correct Audience and allow Him to change us all.