I admit it: I hate change. My grandmother accused me of being born a 70-year old man. I’ve never liked change. Sure, it sounds good when you talk about it. But when the time comes to actually act, change scares me. It stresses me out. I don’t really know why it’s this way for me. Is it one more reminder that I don’t have total control in life? Is it some manifestation of some childhood baggage? Who knows.
Last week my wife and I packed up our little apartment in Atlanta and moved our lives and everything we own to Macon, GA. As I watched the movers slowly take our boxes and furniture it occurred to me how odd it was that rooms that were being emptied had, only 2 weeks earlier, been perfectly in place (well as perfectly as I can keep things). These rooms and the placement of these objects held in the middle of their bond very fond memories. And within minutes, I realized that these memories were different-things were no longer bonded in their place as they were meant to be. Did I mention I hate change?
I am in the process of ordination as a United Methodist pastor. With this ordination comes a vow to uphold the itenerancy of pastors within the United Methodist Church. This means this particular process of moving isn’t the last time we’ll ever move. The bad news for a “change hater” is that stuff will be removed from its proper places again. Life will be disturbed and we’ll do this stressful process all over again. But the good news is, before all of that takes place, memories will have to be attached to where my stuff is placed in our new place. Life will happen here. We’ll have good days and bad days and many more days just in-between.
As we walked out of our little apartment we didn’t say any sentimental words. It was hot outside and we were ready to eat some lunch. But I walked down our stairs toward our cars for the last time in that apartment complex with the best part of this moving process-an amazing person to share the stress with. And I remembered that we made friends in Atlanta we’ll keep forever and we’ll inevitably make friends in Macon that will join our small club of “life-long friends.” So maybe change isn’t so bad? Well it still is! But if coping with that which I hate is made better with people, then I kind of like my odds of getting through this ordeal over and over and over again.