Chaplain to the Old – Midwives to the New

One of the hardest things a human being can ever do is change. It seems that from the time we are born, we go from an infant, loving new experiences and environments, to an adult wanting only sameness. The older we get, the more uncomfortable change makes us. We crave order and stability.

I believe that more than often the unspoken issues plaguing us are not the things that seem obvious, but change – Fear of the unknown, fear of losing control. On top of this, there are disturbing Scriptures like, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”  (Isaiah 43:19).

Just when you think you are settled, the ground under you begins to shift again and everything is shaken. For many, the dust never seems to clear.

Why change?  Why didn’t God just create us to be robots who follow perfect programming without fuss or mess? Could life be called life without the ability to change? Change, though messy, creates new life and possibilities. I also believe that God allows change because change obliterates the love of comfort and ease. It keeps us from becoming static and stuck in mediocrity.

David spoke of God giving him “hind’s feet” in the mountains. In other words, in places where the ground is unfamiliar, God gave him the agility of the nimble doe who shifts from rock to rock without losing its balance. When times of change come, most of us, instead of shifting elegantly like a doe, shift like a bull in a china shop. We do this by resisting and complaining about change when it comes.

Like some of Columbus’ crew, we mutiny because even though they were sailing to a new world, some couldn’t get over the belief that the earth was still flat and feared falling off the edge.

We must learn how to change gracefully – To become chaplains to the old things, and midwives to the new.  We must put to bed things in our lives that have become stagnant and no longer produce fruit.  There is a danger in eulogizing the past so that you cannot embrace the “now” of God’s work in you. Isaiah had to let go of the old to embrace the new.

”In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord”
Isaiah 6:1

We must also welcome new change the way a midwife facilitates a birth. It is important to create change God is bringing instead of react to it. Thus we have the haunting question of God’s new thing in Isaiah.

“Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”  Isa 43:19

I want to learn from Paul’s example as he saw and embraced the principle of facilitating change.

“I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound; in any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and want. I can do all things in him who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:12-13 (RSV)