Some years ago, my mother-in-law recommended the book Future Shock by Alvin Toffler. Written in 1970, he was already trying to diagnose what he was seeing in people: a struggle to keep up with changes coming faster and faster. I found the book quite helpful for what I was living in the mid 80's - never dreaming where we would be in 2014.
Now, change is about the only constant we can count on (besides death and taxes). How ironic! And yet, many in my circles struggle with the idea of change. Why is it so difficult, So de-stabilising? With all the change we have lived, you might think we would get used to it. But to some extent, the opposite seems to be the case.
Of course, some changes are difficult to digest. But I think I'm wired to face certain changes, to adapt to what is happening around us. It doesn't trouble me. I find myself, instead, trying to help those around me work through the implications of a change. Strange and somewhat uncomfortable - but part of what I'm think I am made to do.
Right now, the organisation I work for is going through a pretty significant change. I seem to be spending a good bit of time trying to help individuals think through and anticipate the implications and the effects, some of which will be difficult. Hopefully, I can be of some use. If not, I can always wait for things to change . . .
Life has been SO full lately - and most of it has been good, draining but good. We realised the other day that over the past 14 months, we have lived MANY big transitions - a wedding, a move, a daughter coming back home, and lots of little things added here and there. No wonder we feel tired on a lot of levels. I am realising that I need to find ways to fill my "coping tank" back up, not an easy thing when the timetable is over-full and I'm wearing several different hats.
All the same, I have little that gives me a right to complain. Compared to the situation in the Central African Republic, which we are following regularly, we have very little physical discomfort. We have plenty to eat and drink, to wear, to do, and lack for nothing. That pushes me to thankfulness, in the midst of all the busy-ness.
From time to time, I wonder how I would react if I lost it all to civil war or to a flood, which many people in other parts England are living through. Would I rebel at the hand I was dealt? What would I miss most? How about you? Do the "creature comforts" we have possess us, or do we possess them? Perhaps something to reflect on . . .
Solomon said something about there being no end to books. There is certainly some truth to that, especially as I anticipate the final module of my degree program which will take place in Pasadena in October.
The main emphasis of the course is how to balance the demands of "professional" church life while remaining fresh and connected to God in a real way - quite a challenge! I have already started reading, but much more is ahead. And I am looking forward to learning from those who have gone before, what they have done to face the challenge.
The amount of work is always a bit daunting, but this degree program has stretched me in ways I would never have anticipated. Well worth all the "blood, sweat and tears" - well, actually, none of it has been as hard as that ;-)
In my last blog entry, I spoke of my fear of how I might react before, during or after my daughter Anne's wedding to Adam on 20 July 2013 (you can read my thoughts more fully below).
You can read some details of the wedding by clicking the "Imports" page. The whole affair could not have been more perfect.
As for my small part and how I lived it, it could not have felt more natural and a great way to symbolically pass the baton for Anne's spiritual covering from myself to Adam. What a joy! I now look forward to this next stage in the life of our daughter, as we get to know Adam better and forge a modified relationship with the two of them "as one."