I was at Marin Coffee Roaster in the Pacheco Plaza drinking a coffee and reading the paper the other day. What should have been a very enjoyable moment was proving to be a cause for anxiety. I couldn’t explain it or put my finger on it.
It wasn’t worry, gas pains or gas prices, it was much worse. It was CHANGE. I was changing and I could feel it deep in my body.
Change is something we each face at different times in our lives. I saw shocking evidence this week at the Rolling Hills gym. A woman with a loose and raggedy running style hobbled her way through a treadmill cycle. She looked miserable. It was hard to watch but I just kept staring. I was afraid she was going to slip and fall into the floor fan that she set dangerously close to her.
Judging by the faded snugness of her “Frampton Comes Alive Shirt”, and a pair of old and ill fitting shorts that said “JUICY” on her backside, I ascertained exercise was a recent change in her life. Her workout attire was wrong on many levels. Five minutes later I saw her sitting down and reading a magazine while watching “Family Feud” on television.
I had empathy for her. She was struggling with change. As was her gym wardrobe, but if she stays at it long enough both will transform.
Personal and community change is not easy. Why does it seem that when a change occurs in our life, we rarely feel good about it in the beginning? I am sure had I asked the woman at the gym, “How do you feel? ’You likin’ the changes?” Instead of giving me the thumbs up, I think she may have hoisted an entirely different digit.
Can the Bible reveal something about human change? Many would say the creation stories in Genesis are but poetic ways of expressing great human ideas. But if that's all it is, why bother? Who really cares? To the contrary the change in Genesis brings forth new life from the depths of turmoil and chaos. Genesis is not a geology or biology lesson. Instead it reveals a divine shaping and creating for all of life, beauty, and light in the darkness.
Creation, change, or a new understanding of a relationship does not come about smoothly, easily and peacefully. I wish it did. The woman at the gym in her faded and tight “Juicy” shorts wished it did. And for her sake, I did too. All too often change happens when our stomach is tied up in knots, we can’t sleep, focus or relax. We feel out of control, disconnected from people we care about, or an important relationship may need new boundaries. Our life has no peace.
But something else is happening here. There is some holy, spiritual other working in us, through us and beyond us. There is something outside of us, greater than ourselves at work.
I hope each of you can walk down the road of change with as much courage, grace and strength as you can draw upon. And remember, you may feel all alone, but you aren’t. Others walk with you.
Tue, May 1, 2012
by Rev. Dan