Why is change so painful?
Everyone hates change. Nary a soul wakes up in the morning and declares, "I'm changing everything that makes me, me!" It doesn't happen. Sure, we fine tune ourselves. Absolutely, we tweak and tinker with routines and habits in order to achieve a specific goal or become better people, but I'm not sure we relish change.
Embracing change is tedious. The comfortable environment we often find ourselves in is terribly convenient and affecting change means embracing the inconvenient and redefining what we consider comfortable. It's stretching ourselves and stepping out of zones we specifically built to by homey.
Sometimes we make the concerted decision to change and other times that decision is made for us. If we decide to mix things up, that's one thing. It's another thing entirely when life throws us the most wicked curve we've yet seen. We often see the next pitch life is throwing us and we swing as hard as we can, certain to make glorious contact, but it's an embarrassing whiff because the ball fell off the table (please pardon the excessive baseball analogy - I've been watching prodigious amounts of baseball this season - Go Braves).
Change hurts. It's dolorous. It's mysterious and uncertain. Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter of the Harvard Business Review states that, "Change interferes with autonomy and can make people feel that they've lost control over their territory."(1)
Hence why we fight against it. Change is big, and risky, and often requires a certain measure of effort on our part to affect it and it also means giving up what little control we thought we had. So let's not and say we did, right?
Why am I here and where am I going?
Why am I bringing this up? That's a fair question and it's one I'm still working out the answer to, but I feel the gist is, I've changed since we began this little venture together. Life has changed drastically, and it certainly wasn't by any choice I made. Life decided to do its own thing without so much as a polite check-in to see if I was cool with it.
As a result, I'm not quite the man I used to be. Life is changing and I'm having to trust that God is using this change to perfect the many rough edges I still maintain. Like a lump of clay in the hands of a master potter, I am being constantly reshaped and renewed through the various ups and downs I've experienced. And if I'm changing, then it only stands to reason that this space would change as well.
Just buckle up because if we're changing then it means we are progressing, so here we go.
Let's begin by examining why we are here. I'm not meaning let's have an existential or philosophical discussion debating the finer the points of our shared human experience, or why God placed us on this spinning blue orb hurtling through space (we can still do that if you'd like - I'm not diametrically opposed to the idea), but rather, let's determine what our purpose is in this small corner of the Internet where I write the words that you sometimes read.
What is this? What is my purpose in writing? Would you be terribly disappointed if I said I'm not sure? I know I enjoy it. The gathering of words. The putting of pen to paper, or in this case, the clicking of keys to form meaningful pixels. My wife tells me I'm good at it (she's a touch biased I'm afraid). But am I writing because I feel I have something to say and something to share, or am I writing for the attention of others and to feel important?
Well, I'd be more than a little dishonest if I said this all comes from a place of complete selflessness. The truth is, it's all of the above. I love the writing process and putting thoughts together to convey an idea or an inspiration. Writing helps me process and examine how I truly feel about . . . well, everything. And oddly enough, when I've put those thoughts down and shared them, you all have been kind enough to read them and express to me how they've influenced or affected you. The knowledge that something you create matters to others and even helps them is humbling and I believe there's nothing wrong with that.
What does the future of A Gathering of Words look like? It's unclear even to me. But I feel a pull towards various avenues and in the past these nudges have served me well. Let's just agree that we will figure this out together.
Which brings me to our last order of business - THANK YOU! Sincerely, it means more to me than you all could possibly know that you take the time out of your busy lives to read the modest ramblings that flow from my faulty brain through my fingers onto your screen. Again, it's incredibly humbling and I don't want to take this privilege for granted.
Change is daunting but it can also be exciting. It can be a new beginning. A fresh start or a novel perspective. I'm choosing to lean into the change and trust that God is still completing the work that He began, not only within me, but all of us.
Here's to the future of A Gathering of Words and to change...
(1) Moss Kanter Rosabeth, "Ten Reasons People Resist Change," Harvard Business Review (2012): https://hbr.org/2012/09/ten-reasons-people-resist-chang