Optimism And Change

This is the time of year for change.

We are shifting from spring to summer. There are different flowers that are blooming, different fruits coming to ripened maturity. There are kids moving from one grade to the next. Some are even finished with school altogether. Weddings, new babies on the way, retirement parties, etc., etc. While the future can conjure up fear and pessimism in some, we have to remember that life’s changing, shifting sands also bring amazing new opportunities.

Here are a few things to remember when trying to take an optimistic view of the future:

You are needed in the future, not the past – There is a place for everyone, especially Christians. All of our promise and potential is in the future, not bogged down in memories or regrets. Besides, everywhere you go is a new opportunity to effect somebody, like moving to a new city or going away to college (Acts 18:27).

Change is a good thing – In order to grow at all, change is invariable. It keeps life fresh, opens up new opportunities, gives new chances to show the mettle of our faith. It has been said that it’s not the events of life that are good or bad, but how we respond to them that determines their value.

Relationships will change, usually for the better – You will probably lose a few friends in each transition (high school to college, college to marriage, etc.), but that can be a good thing. You may look back and realize that some people only brought out the worst in you, or kept you from maturing. For most friendships, though, the relationship grows deeper as life changes. When you get married you will find other young couples to associate with. Then you all have children around the same time, and your children grow up together. Even after a spouse dies, you may make friends in a new social group that you might have never grown close to. And the special friendships you develop with people in different age groups can be the most impactful!

Cultivate new friendships – While we should never forsake our old friends (Proverbs 27:10), life should never remain static. Churches, for examples, will either thrive or die depending on how the congregation’s members adapt to an ever-changing social landscape. Sometimes we get fixated on the friends and families that used to be here, rather than the new members who are here now. The last thing we should do is close the door and become introverted, or slowly allow discouragement to eat away at our enthusiasm and devotion to the congregation. Remember to practice hospitality, show your love for other Christians, give preference to the saints, and be of the same mind toward all of God’s children (Romans 12:4-16).