Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes (Turn and face the strange)
Theologian and author Anthony Podavano says, “There is a good deal of difference between loss, change and transformation. A loss is a step backward; a change is an opportunity; transformation is a step forward. The common denominator of these three realities is the fact that one must give up something. It is possible for both loss and change to lead to transformation, but it is not possible for transformation to occur unless something is lost and something is changed.”
Today is the first day of school for most kids in the greater Little Rock area. We have a number of kids at our church who are in for big changes this year. A couple are starting kindergarten, several are making the leap to middle school and still others will be entering the realm of high school. No doubt, they will be leaving some things behind as they move on to the next phase of their school lives, but they will be gaining new challenges, new experiences and new ways of doing things. It’s exciting and scary and more than a little discombobulating.
Wherever you are in life (in school or out), you are not yet all that you will be. You are still transforming, and that means that there will be loss and change ahead.
Many of us are pretty good with change. We readily adopt and adapt to new technology. We change our hair color, switch careers and remodel our homes all the time. We are constantly changing and reinventing ourselves, but we tend to like our churches to remain the same…and they never do. The church can’t be static any more than our kids can repeat the same grade over and over again without ever advancing. And at this particular time in history, what it means to be the church seems to be changing daily and constantly up for debate. It’s exciting and scary and a more than a little discombobulating.
I can’t wait to pick up my kid today to see how her first day at a new school went. And I can’t wait to see what will happen next in the dynamic, evolving and ever-present Church of Jesus Christ.