We Are Not Frightened by Change
A Reflection by Rev. Robert Johnson – from his Florida Blog
“… Everyone thinks of changing the world, but where, oh where, are those who think of changing themselves?” – Richard Foster
People do change! They just don’t think about it. We change the style of clothes we wear. We change our habits of communication. We change the meaning of some of the words we use. We change jobs. We change spouses. We change residences. We age, therefore, we change.
… we do not think so much of changing the world as we think of the need of “others” to change. There is a sense in which we believe that if everyone was like us – thought like us, acted like us – the world would indeed change and be much better. But then if you reconsider my previous thought, having everyone be like us would be counter productive.
Then there is the whole matter that though we might give some consideration to changing the world, we often do so without contemplating how the world has already changed and is changing – whether we give it a thought or not. Some of the thinking about changing the world is NOT forward thinking. Such thinkers would have us go back in time. And some thinking about changing the world is, even for me, too radically forward. In both of these instances, the thinkers are clearly not giving much consideration to the possibility of self-change.
And, finally, there are those who do understand that changing the world means changing themselves. And they are tremendously frightened! If you know what you know for having lived with it and through it for the past 40 or 50 or 60 years, how will you live in a changed world about which you know so very little… We are not frightened by change. We experience too much of it in our lives day by day to be frightened. We are frightened by not knowing what change will bring: what will be the result of the change and will we be able to live in it, with it, through it.
So we look for hope. Any hope for the future is completely dependent on our willingness to embrace the change. I purposely use the word ’embrace’ in the previous sentence because I think we have to love the coming change. By that, I mean we have to be so intimately involved in seeking and discerning and helping to create what is unfolding around us that when it is complete our hope will be rewarded by the knowledge that this is good, we need not fear, there is a way forward. There is hope!