Every day, I read an online devotional that comes right to my e-mail inbox! Today's devotion really made me feel good! In fact, the Scripture choice for today was one of my favorites (1 Timothy 4) which I thought was ironic, yet confirming ,of my choice to serve in a new ministry after taking the summer off. Speaking of that, I've always loved the first day of something ... some of my favoites have been: the first day of school, the first day with a new baby, the first day of driving a new car, the first day of the fair, the first day in my (then) new house! And today was no exception; a change for me, the first day of a new job, a new adventure in ministry!
The bottom line is that change and newness can be scary! For me, change has always been scary because it is something different / not normal. It takes me / makes me step out of my comfort zone. But, when I stopped and thought about change, it hit me how long we humans have been dealing with it! Think about Adam and Eve! Even the Israelites faced newness and change (and did not respond so well, might I add). Just take a look at Isaiah 43:18-19 where the writer probably shocked and offended the exiled Israelites by his thoughts on change and newness.
But change and newness are integral to our life and faith. Paul, in the book of Philippians, talks about change and newness. He says: "but one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." I think what Paul means (but doesn't say here) is that change and newness are a reality and are at work in every aspect of life. Think about it! As human beings, we are constantly growing and changing; a work in progress. Nature around us is constantly growing and changing. We're life-long learners - there's always something we can learn from each other, our Master, or ourselves! Further, I think what Paul is saying in the third chapter of Philippians is that we can't be afraid of change. We can't be so stuck on "the old way of doing things" that we miss out on something awesome (but new).
Part of the 1 Timothy Scripture, that I so love, says: "These are the things you must insist on and teach ... Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you ... Put these things into practice, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress. Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; continue in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers." What an overwhelming responsibility Paul is charging us with! But I have to say, it is one that I am so looking foward to accepting. I am going to have to work hard to remind myself of this daily and that change and newness are good! Afterall, I beleive with all my head and heart that the Christian life is a pilgrimage—a discipleship of discipline—a moving ahead involving a life of change and newness! So, here's to change and newness!