Finding Our Way as Seasons Change
As I write, a cold September rain is beating down upon the great roof of Beacon Hill. Like the little drummer boy, the droplets of water are singing pa-rum-pa-pum-pum. The cold front came in on Wednesday and this morning it is just 45 degrees. The first day of Autumn arrived and Summer was run out of town.
It’s incredible how fast things can change. We can plan for change, we can even expect change, but many times change catches us by surprise. Changes in the weather, sure, but also changes in routines, relationships and health.
Do you remember your first day living at Beacon Hill? It was a big change, wasn’t it? From having to spend time on many household chores or lawn/garden maintenance, to not having that same kind of responsibility. From having your morning coffee on your back porch to drinking it in the bistro. Your life routine has changed since moving into Beacon Hill.
Many of you have experienced sudden changes in relationships. Whether it was when you married your sweetheart or when you felt a friendship begin to fall apart. Relationships can be fragile at times and even one wrong word can change the dynamics of them.
Then there is our health. I recently fractured a bone in my hand. I didn’t plan for it, I didn’t expect it, but now I have to live with it. Some of you have had to change your lifestyle to fit a cancer treatment regimen or to provide care to an ailing spouse. Our health can take a sudden left turn and there is often nothing we can do about it. So, how do you respond when changes happen in your life?
Depending on the nature of the change, I can react in all kinds of ways. I can become irritated, sad, angry, happy, tired or even relieved. Most times, I experience a variety of these emotions at the same time. Those emotions are all signs of grief because grief occurs anytime we experience a sudden change.
In the Old Testament, there is a scene when the people of Israel are rebuilding the temple. When the foundation is laid, they have a great celebration with trumpets, cheering, the whole nine yards, but there were some who wept. Those who wept saw the original temple and even though it was exciting to see the temple rebuilt, it brought up emotions of pain because it wasn’t the way it used to be. They had prepared for this change, but it still caught them by surprise. The story concludes with weeping and rejoicing so intermingled that nobody can distinguish between the two sounds.
So, whatever changes you might face today or this week, know that it’s okay to feel all kinds of emotions. Emotions are a gift from God. It’s natural and normal to go through joy and sorrow when changes happen in your life, even the good changes.
What is important is how you respond in the midst of those emotions. Do you call a friend to share what’s going on? Do you spend time in prayer? Or do you find something productive to do with your time? There are so many ways we can respond to these emotions that arise with change, but it helps to think through it and come up with a plan, so you respond in the way you want to rather than be controlled by your emotions.
Peace be upon you,
Chaplain Travis Jamieson