These uncomfortable seasons of change


When things change for what is perceived as “the worse”, when the loss of something comes upon us, we are left with the uncomfortable sense of transience, and perhaps even of failure. But really, you don’t have to pull your hair out.

I sometimes strangely make people even more uncomfortable (I suppose I comfort some others) during these negatively changing times by not appearing terribly uncomfortable myself. I suppose my sense of traveling through the story of Christ helps anchor my thinking during crisis.

Frank Viola posted on his blog today about how to respond to change. It caused me to consider neither the to dos of changing seasons, nor the not to dos of changing seasons. Rather I ruminated on attitudes that help me walk through crisis with excitement. Yes, I used the word excitement. I don’t have that response to every rough season, but I do have it for some other seasons.

So, here we go:

  • I truly believe this world is not my home, and as much as I love certain places, I am not devastated to be disconnected from this world. I am putting my treasure somewhere else, and I do that by investing myself in other’s lives first – and my own after.
  • Because the first point is true, I also do not value success, acknowledgement and reputation in the same way many people do. So, if I am seen as a failure in some way by the capitalistic standards of much of American Christianity, I am not troubled by that. I know that my trials are God’s gold, and the wisdom I receive during these seasons trumps the shallow 1-2-3 steps for success commonly presented as the path to success. (Even here, I am uncomfortable bullet pointing these principles, but knowing that they are principles at least helps me overcome the sense of falling into the 1-2-3 How to Be a Winner Waltz.)
  • If I get tense concerning my season of crisis, I take time alone to chill, and when in groups do my best to keep my tension from spilling out onto other people – even when they are truly troubling. This is critical for leaders, because when there is a critical change for a group of people, many people will offer answers, which are not applicable, or usable in the moment of crisis, and others will be having their own crisis, and will be trying to lay it on you. Suddenly, in the crisis the need for gentle correction rises, while simultaneously your personal tension increases. Find ways to to alleviate that tension. Take up boxing, or become a rapper – okay, maybe not, but then again – maybe.

I’ve got more to say, but I am gonna leave you with a 1-2-3 Waltz for now. There is not much to do, it is more of a ‘to be’ list.

Currently, our little tribe called The Gathering at Salem is experiencing big change. We are leaving our home for the last 7 years – The Vault, but we are also raising money to reset our vision in a new location in downtown Salem. Adventures are ahead, even while the change is tough.

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