Change is hard. I’ve been thinking about necessary changes, and I don’t like it much. Our wonderful National Health Service is brilliant, and the staff I have met have been marvellous. But they are saying things like “You will need to change x and y…”
On one hand, they say it is to help me live a long and healthy life. On the other hand, because parts of my amazingly complicated body are not working quite as they should, in order to achieve the “long and healthy bit” I will have to experiment with new ways of stoking the “Incredible Bulk” that is me.
I’m not fond of the changes. Walking has been a joy for years, with time spent in the wildest possible bits of the countryside a particular pleasure. I have lugged several tons of camera gear up mountain slopes (preferably by cable-car!), along rivers and lake-sides, through the woods and beside the sea. Now I can’t walk very far, and choosing the gear to carry has become more important.
I’m not fond of the changes that mean some of my favourite foods are no longer good for me. Realistically, however much broccoli and oats I consume, this body will stop one day. That isn’t a problem, because Christian faith is an exercise in obedient trust that depends on God’s promises- and I’m confident that my trust is in a secure grip. However, there are many delights in this life, and so much that I can share in the purposes of God for myself and my world. So hanging around in fairly good nick seems a sensible thing to do!
Change is hard. We recently visited the National Trust gardens at Stourhead. Timeless vistas stretch down the valley, with woods, bridges, small classic-Greek buildings- and a lovely collection of wildlife to enjoy. It all looks just PERFECT.
But it isn’t original. The landscape has been shaped, changed and imposed upon in grand style in order to meet a “visionary” picture of beauty.
Hours of work, immense efforts, careful maintenance and TIME has been invested in positive change. It is lovely. It should stay that way for years to come. Big changes paid off.
I am hoping that my involvement in change will be equally fruitful. Even knowing my weak willpower, I can have confidence that these changes are just a part of the gradual transformation of my life and character- and the end result will be pleasing to God, to me, and to those who know me. Here’s a verse to ponder: Philippians 1:6 (NLT)
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
May that vision of God’s power and the photos of what can be achieved when we work with a good purpose be an encouragement! God be with you.