Life is a constant change. Some would say that the one constant in life is change. Two good question to ask yourself regarding change is this: “What do I do when many changes are happening? Do I lean into the changes, or away from them?” I want to encourage you to lean into the changes.
This is the difficulty with change. It usually occurs without my consent, and rarely happens on my terms and conditions. Why is it important to lean into the changes? It is almost impossible to stay neutral in the changes of life. You may feel like you are staying neutral, but telling others or yourself that you are choosing to “be neutral” is something you might be saying to help yourself cope with the many changes that are happening. Because change is forward moving, neutral does not end up being neutral. In reality, you end up leaning away from the change. If you watch speed skaters, they lean into their turns as they change direction. So do runners and cyclists. Leaning into the changes in life helps you face them proactively instead of reactively. If you don’t lean into the change, you may not be able to make the change, and might stay stuck in the past. Worse yet, you might crash your life trying to stay neutral at high speeds instead of leaning into it. Here are three reasons leaning into the change is worthwhile.
1. Leaning into change helps with future courage. One of the reasons we don’t like to change is fear of the unknown. We live with an idealized sense of the future, and a possessive reach on the past. Every time you lean into change, you’re practicing the act of courageously living. The next time you’re faced with a change that triggers fear, it will be easier for you to act courageously.
2. Leaning into change frees you up. One of the things that holds us back most is trying to control the changes around us. When you stop trying to control your life (and everyone else’s life), you are free to love people, receive God’s peace, and chase your dreams.
3. Leaning into change means you want better. I think we hurt ourselves sometimes through phrases like these, “I don’t want anything to change between us” or “I wish things could just be how they used to be.” Those are phrases that simply say: I’m satisfied with what was or what is, but I’m not looking for something better. I want better. I want us to have to face hard things together, and to have great moments together. That only happens when we choose to lean into changes. If we resist change, we resist God himself, for He is the one who created us to change. Embracing change with love and courage in our hearts is a way to honor God.
What are some benefits you have found to making changes? What would you tell someone who was afraid to make a needed change?