I was going to title this post “Change SUCKS,” because that’s just on my mind today, and has been for a few weeks.
Change is fun in many ways, invigorating even. I’ve come to realize, though, that change causes me a lot of stress.
Whether it’s a new life situation or a different room arrangement, I don’t often choose excitement as my first reaction to change.
Usually, I pout and stomp and say things like “Change sucks.”
I used to work with an annoyingly upbeat guy who had a mantra, “Your feelings are not reality.” He’d pipe up with this at about the time I was croaking “Change SUCKS” from beneath the piles of ideas on my desk. He was like a little bird singing a happy song and all I wanted was to lounge under the storm clouds of my bad attitude.
I’m having one of those Mondays where Bad Attitude + Low Self Esteem = Change Sucks Mentality. All day, his voice has been in my head reminding me that my feelings are not reality.
I don’t think Mary ever looked at her life and declared that change sucked. Faced with an unexpected pregnancy, she went to share the news. When she realized she was going to give birth — to the Savior! — in a crude stable, I’m betting she didn’t start sulking and refuse to talk to Joseph for the rest of the night. Given the the order to flee to Egypt with only what she had on her back, she probably didn’t moan about the timing.
Seeing her Son on that dusty road in Jerusalem, back striped from the scourging, stumbling and looking terrible, I don’t think she shook her fist at God…or at Pontius Pilate or the soldiers. I don’t think she blamed a bad day or let it get her down.
On that very worst of days, Mary was facing change in a way that was hard indeed. I’ve been at the foot of the cross a few times. Talk about hard and life-altering.
We have all been at the foot of the cross. We have all suffered greatly (though we may not think so).
What’s this have to do with change? In Mary, standing at the foot of the cross, I have my call to action about my resistance to change. In Mary, toiling through everyday life, feeling frustrated and keeping her smile, I have my reason for fighting past this attitude. In Mary, I have my mentor in how to approach change.
My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.
For He has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden,
For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name.
And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm:
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and exalted those of low degree.
He has filled the hungry with good things;
and the rich He has sent empty away.
He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy;
As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to His posterity forever.
(Luke 1:41-45, New Revised Standard Edition)
I love Luke. On most days he makes the most sense. I hope you found comfort even as you copied those words, The Word.
Change causes lots of us (ME) stress…it’s how the brain is wired in some of us. Knowing that doesn’t make it easier and admiting it doesn’t make one a bad person. I think the big thing is to know it for what it is and find ways to ask God to help with it. I am reminded of the serenity prayer. I promise to consider the way you suggested in this excellent piece, that Mary can school us in our approach to dreaded change. Thank you!
Great article. Thank you for the food for thought.