Change

 
Life is about change (and how 2020 reminded us!).

  • from the weather to gas prices, clothing styles to team rosters (can you name one player on the Detroit Tigers?);
  • from morale to mores, popular music hits to holders of public office;
  • from the birth of children (Lori and I are going to be first-time grandparents!) to the death of aging loved ones;
  • from launching into a new career to retiring after decades of service;
  • from bodies (gravitational sagging!) to bill payment (anyone remember paying at the utility office?);
  • from Amazon to Instacart, E-sports to electric vehicles, travel to technology, international relations to gender variant categories, ad infinitum.

The world we live in is changing. And rapidly.

Some changes are big, others small. Some are very personal, others affect everybody. Some are expected, while others sweep us off our feet. Some changes are received gladly and others are simply endured. Some changes don’t require major adjustment, others take a lifetime plus.

What is the future of the city? Coastal communities? Education? Entertainment? Health care? Human modification? The role of artificial intelligence? Warfare? The economy? The church?

In my field, between new addictions (e.g., video gaming, cell phones, vaping) and a populous wary of entering a residential treatment center, new challenges arise. While there are common denominators with all attachments, every addiction also is unique. And while we firmly believe that addiction-recovery requires community, how do we provide a safe place, ease people’s pandemic anxieties, and not compromise a core value—healing happens in the context of personal relationship?

We’ve all got our opinions about what is around the corner. Some of us are better guessers than others. Some of us are also more optimistic.

Whatever the case, we simply can’t be certain of anything relative to the future except this: More change is coming. And there is no going back.

As such, we will have to change. To not change is to die. It is to forfeit the present. It is to miss what the Spirit might be doing here and now. Lives are at stake. God is on a mission. He is doing a new thing.

But what do we change? When? Where? How? It can all be so very overwhelming.

If I’m learning anything, it is this: I’m not in control. Nor are you. None of us are. God is curing us (at least me) of delusions of grandeur. Maybe that is The Big Takeaway in life. We are not God.

I’m also learning (at least trying to) the corollary reality: I/we need him. I/we can’t do life without his help. I don’t have the wisdom, discernment, imagination, courage, patience, and love necessary for the tasks at hand.

But God does. He is more than sufficient for all that I lack. So, I’m learning to trust him more. And in spite of the struggles and my fumbling, I’m discovering in deeper ways the blessed truth of what David wrote, “No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame (i.e., embarrassed, disappointed)” (Ps. 25:3). 

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Our God, our help in ages past,
our hope for years to come,
our Shelter from the stormy blast,
and our eternal Home.

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2 Comments

  1. Steven T. Hawk III

    Wow. I remember many lectures in your classes. Always grabbing my attention. Thank you for this. You’re absolutely right pastor. Thank you for everything. Thank you for not giving up on me. Thank you for seeing something in me that at the time I never thought was possible. Thank you you for allowing God to work through you to live me and so many others. Thank you for the challenge/challenges. Thank you for fighting for my life when I didn’t fight for my life. Most of all thank you and you’re team for teaching me how to be a man, a man of INTEGRITY, HONOR and to be bold. Here is the best one thank you for helping me to “ come to myself “. Because of that I’m a daddy today. Because of that my kid’s call me dad. My kid’s can walk with honor to our name instead of generations of a rebellion to our name. I’m a daddy pastor. Can you believe it dude!!!!!! ❤️💯 Be blessed man and remember “NEVER TAKE IT EASY”! I love y’all!

  2. Amen He is able He is willing He is our refuge and strength….a very present help in times of trouble.

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