Change often gets a bad rap. Especially when that change is sudden or not something we’ve been planning for.
We like the change that we plan or pray for — a promotion at work, weight loss, a new baby, or marriage.
But too often we think of change as something new, scary, and disruptive. Change is something we have a tendency to dread. It looms ahead of us with so many unknowns. We worry about those changes. We overthink all the terrible outcomes what may be triggered from that change. Anxiety becomes a close acquaintance with change and eventually we become too afraid to try anything new so we continue to do what we’ve always done just for sake of comfort.
A life without change or with only planned change stagnates and eventually we’re left only living the same day over and over again with different weather and an older looking face.
Trying new things, exploring different avenues, and daring the change to come can be terrifying. After all, we don’t really know if the new food is a going to be amazing or make us sick. We don’t know if the different avenue is dangerous or safe. And we definitely don’t know if the change to come is gonna be something we want.
I shared a post earlier in this blog’s life about fearing the changes ahead. In that post, I shared my ten favorite verses for combating that fear. Memorizing God’s words of comfort and actually putting the words into our thought pattern is probably the best way to fight the fear of change.
However, we also need to remember how wonderful a word change actually is!
As I repeat often, I’m no expert. I don’t claim to be anything more than an observer or someone who just likes to learn. With that said, I enjoy investigating and diving just a little bit deeper.
When I sat down to write this post, the changes in my own life were at the forefront of my mind. Change is swirling about me and I’m trying to hold on to the present so I’m actually living in the here and now. But it’s hard. I’m afraid of the changes but I’m also terrified I’ll be stuck forever if I don’t embrace them. It’s complicated.
To help my poor, confused mind, I dove into the word change. I explored it’s meaning, looked at the Bible, and put some structure to the thoughts that were so disjointed.
When I looked at the word change in the dictionary, I found something surprising — it means exactly what we think it means. Haha!
Okay, so maybe it shouldn’t be that surprising but words adapt over time. Literally can now mean literally (actually, without exaggeration) or it can mean figuratively (very nearly, virtually). Words can be confusing.
But not change. It actually means – to make or become different, alter, or transform.
With my nerdom already flailing about everywhere, I decided to go to the Googs for more info. I know, I’m a highly sophisticated investigator. 😀
Google ended up giving me this amazing graph showing the usage of “change” over time.
Basically, Google searches literature and finds how often the word “change” appears.
Ignoring the fact that Google has it’s limitations and printed material has increased exponentially, I find this chart fascinating!
The Renaissance, Humanism, the Printing Press (1440’s), the Protestant Reformation (1517), the Age of Discovery, and the rise of monarchs established something new in the minds of people — curiosity. (P.S. I should mention that I was a history teacher.)
With that curiosity comes that quick jump you see between 1550 and 1600. The world that was previous known changed forever.
From that point on, change become a norm. There are times when writers used it more frequently and times when they used it less but it was a thing. A thing that couldn’t be ignored.
We see another jump after World War 2. Technology as we know it starts to leap out of every corner. There are other changes too but let’s keep it simple! 🙂
I stated earlier in this post that without change or with only the changes we plan, we stagnate. Life become a relatively boring version of Groundhog Day.
Change may not always be what we want. It may even come at a steep cost — The Age of Discovery was a time of great exploration but also of great and terrible destruction. I will never claim that change is always happiness, sunshine, and unicorns. It’s a complicated, terrifying, and all the things we usually think it is.
But human nature often forgets to remind us that sometimes complicated and terrifying can be wonderful, beautiful, and worth all the anxiety.
Without someone willing to face the changes (and electrical shock), you wouldn’t be reading this post on whatever electronic device you’ve chosen. Without someone daring to face all the terrifying consequences of change, you wouldn’t have access to books, education, the Bible, plastic, steel, the Internet, art, or any other number of amazing things!
Change may scare us all — even when we want it. But just remember how wonderful the word really is. It’s what moves us forward as a race. It’s what spurs on new thought, ideas, and technology. When done right, it’s what challenges us as individuals and makes us stronger, more diverse, and even more amazing!