How Well Are You Handling "Change"

The body cell is the basic block of all human life. It is estimated that the human body is comprised of between 50-100 trillion cells. These cells die and are reborn each night. So in a real sense every day, our bodies are "brand new." If you haven't thought about it, human beings are creatures of "change." We are constantly changing every day. Yet when our cells die and cease to regenerate that process is called "aging." Old age and the inability of our cells to change are the beginning signs of death.

We are living today in a time of tremendous transformation. Global warming has ushered in volatile and unpredictable weather patterns. Flood waters have raged in areas of the country that have seldom been hit by such catastrophes. It's all due to climate change. The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, in a study titled "U.S. Religious Landscape Survey," found that more than a quarter of adult Americans have left the faith of their childhood to join another religion or no religion at all. It's called affiliation change. Major colleges and universities are experiencing the retirement of their predominantly liberal faculty and a new generation of more centrist and conservative professors are replacing them. It is another transition that will bring with it a different perspective on the major social, economic, cultural and philosophical issues of our day. It's called ideological change. The Baby Boom generation is retiring and a new workforce of Gen-Xers and Millennials are replacing their parents and grandparents. We call it generational change. In the political arena, Barack Obama, has become the first non-Caucasian to be selected as the presumptive presidential nominee of a major political party. It's called, "Change We Can Believe In."

We are surrounded by change and yet in the church we seem slow or in some cases resistant to change. How do we explain this dichotomy as Seventh-day Adventist Christians? Few modern faith communities have been called to accept more change in forming itself than have Seventh-day Adventists. Our forebears weathered the trials and uncertainty of the "Great Disappointment" to form what we now call the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Led by young adults, they struck out in faith and dared to follow the prophetic calling that God gave them through the visions of a young teenage girl. They made tremendous sacrifices, giving of their means and themselves to a cause that seemed illogical and ill conceived, but today we are the beneficiaries of their faithful, selfless service. They embraced "change" and because they did we have been blessed.

So today, as you face the inevitability of slowed reflexes, an expanding waistline and graying temples, is the specter of change haunting you? Are you holding on so tightly to yesterday, that you cannot embrace tomorrow? Is your anxiety about the future robbing your peace in the present? Jesus, the greatest change agent of the universe admonishes us in Matthew 6:33-"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34-Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself . . ." So, "How Are You Handling Change?"

This blog post has been guest written by Pastor Timothy Nixon.

Comments

What jumped directly out at me was the line that the Seventh-Day Adventist church was led by pioneering young adults who struck out in faith. The irony of this is that it seems more and more evident that the church is losing so many young adults along the way, young adults who, perhaps, believe the church thinks change sounds better in name than in action. Every generation evolves past the understanding of the previous generation and it is this ever-widening gap that places so much distance between meeting the needs of the young vs. the needs of the old. So many SDA churches are grounded in meeting the needs of my grandparent’s generation that the spiritual needs of mine seem to be grossly overlooked. I live locally and have looked for a church that meets my spiritual needs. One would think that in a hub of Adventism there would be ample opportunities to have one’s spiritual needs met. It seems like such a simple thing. Instead I have found my spiritual ties quickly dissolving as the same people who fail to meet my needs continue preaching change. And I’m beginning to find that the longer I’m away the less I feel the impulse to return.

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