Tomorrow, I will leave my last child at college and in 3 weeks, I will “retire” from my 33-year career and start everything anew. There are other changes, too, right now— things I wish were not so, many of which are out of my control. Even my beloved dog died in this season of change.
Change causes us anxiety because we have a natural fear of the unknown. When life takes us to a place we have never been before, our mind naturally envisions what it might look like. Some of what we imagine is exciting and some of it is clearly scary. The fear of the unknown coupled with losing the familiar can easily overwhelm us and leave us fearful.
However, here is the great thing about change: whether we change, or change is imposed upon us, we grow. Change requires growth and growth produces change. It’s the cycle that keeps us going forward. Memories are wonderful things and we have certainly worked hard at making them, but life happens where we are going. Change creates growth and growth propels us forward.
An executive I know used to have a sign in his office that said, “change or die.” I used to find that sign a little harsh. But as I grow older and, hopefully, wiser, I understand the truth to that statement. My son cannot grow into all of his potential continuing to live in our home and attend the same school. His growth will come from living on his own in a new place and engaging with new friends, teachers, coaches and eventually leaders.
The same is true with me. There is an old saying, “do you have 30 years of experience or one year of experience you have repeated 30 times?” The next step for me to grow is to change, even though it would be much easier to just stay the course.
My 19-year old is asleep in his own bed for the last time as a permanent resident of our home as I write this. He may be home again as early as next weekend, but I know from experience, it will never be the same again. That’s a wonderful thing, because that will mean that he is growing and that is the natural order of life.
As for me, I am about to “refire” in this season of life. The change I have chosen will require tremendous growth for me. I can see around the corner to some new and exciting challenges, but for the most part, it’s the vast unknown. I have to learn to do some things I have never done before and that is both exciting and scary, but it is also vital to going forward.
Forward is where life is. To get there, we have to grow. Growth requires change. Change produces growth. #change #growth #movingforward Click To Tweet I cannot think of a more exciting place or season to be than in a cycle of growth pushing me forward. It’s not always comfortable, but in this discomfort, I know that I am being refined and molded in who I was created to be.
Recently, I visited the Valley of Elah. This is the place, according to the Bible, where young David killed the giant, Goliath. I had been there before and saw the dried-up creek bed and gathered five smooth stones of my own. But this time, I saw it a little differently. I stood on the actual field where David and Goliath met. It lies between two low mountains where the Israelites and the Philistines were perched on each side. The Bible says that as Goliath moved toward David, that David ran to the battle line toward Goliath. He did not wait in fear for the giant to come and seek him out, rather he ran toward the giant. Previously, I had missed the nuance of the one sentence that stated David ran to meet his enemy.
What about you? Is there a change you are resisting because of the fear of the unknown? Is there an opportunity to grow if you embrace change? What would happen if you just run toward the giant with courage, ready to do battle and conquer the fear of the unknown? If you do, you might just find yourself living the life you always dreamed.