If I’m going to be completely honest, I absolutely hate change, I do. I wish things could stay the same way they’ve always been. Although, confronted in person, I’m sure that I will claim to be adaptable to any and all circumstances. Ha. But don’t worry, I am fully aware that this is a major character flaw. And I’m working on it. Slowly. One of my New Year’s hopes (not exactly a resolution, because it isn’t really possible to measure) is to like change. My problem is that even if different aspects in my life are mediocre, I am still hesitant to make a huge change, because I am comfortable where I am. Just with the coining of the phrase “comfort zone” it is self explanatory why people have such a hard time getting out of it. It’s comfortable. I like comfort. Who doesn’t? Who wants to feel uncomfortable, awkward, and out of place? Strange people. But I’m sure they’re out there. In fact, I’m trying to become one myself! Why? Because I refuse to accept mediocrity for my life. As much as I assume this fact when I get mad that we ran out of creamer at our house: Life is not geared towards our own comfort and pleasure.
The ways of the Lord are not comfortable.
But we were not created for comfort, but for greatness.
-Pope Benedict XVI
I had a discussion with someone about this, and they were mildly depressed after I said that, because she wondered if life was about giving up all joys then. No, life isn’t about pleasure, but it is not all about sacrifice either. The importance in life is love. Loving and being loved. This comes with both pleasure and sacrifice. And it requires the loss of our comfort sometimes.
Even though my “resolution hope” to like change is, in my own humble opinion, quite admirable, it is obviously easier said than done.
Thankfully, God knows our hearts and he can gently point us along the way or just plain shove us off the mountain of our own stable routine to land (in my case) mostly likely in a belly flop into the waters of growth. I know this picture depicts a graceful person practically floating peacefully into that change, but let’s be honest. That would not be me. I like clinging to things that are normal and acknowledging my need to change but not actually taking that step so God, in all His loving goodness, gives me a hand.
He has definitely given me a hand this semester. My last three semester have been pretty easy academically. They were not very stressful and I didn’t have to get out of my comfort zone to be in any of the classes. That was shattered in about 2 seconds the night before my spring semester started less than a week ago. I had been having a particularly stressful and busy day with moving rooms, getting ready for starting school, trying to adjust to being back in 50 degree weather (okay, that wasn’t too hard…) and being in meetings for most of my day. During a short dinner break I had, where I forgot to eat because I conveniently learned that hyperventilating does a good job of substituting for food, I got an e-mail saying one of my classes was canceled, and I realized that I needed another terrible sounding class to actually be able to graduate with a business minor. To spare you the long story I went through a period of denial, stress, and finally a flimsy decision to give up my business minor because I decided in 2 seconds that I didn’t really want it anymore. Thankfully that passed quickly because of the wisdom that my Dad (and really all dads) are renowned for.
Well, I don’t typically like to start of my semester with tears and a heart attack, but it really kick started my adrenaline for the week. After I attended all of my classes, I sat back, overwhelmed and thinking, “I don’t like any of my classes.” Most of them are going to be really challenging and require a lot of participation and study. And then I decided. My motto for this semester, which I admit, I’m not incredibly overjoyed at, is:
I want to be challenged in my classes and be able to converse easily and well in class discussion (something very difficult for me) and get to the point where I don’t dread for an entire semester a presentation I have. But I always think of those things as attributes that my future self will be good at. And then, reading the Simple Dollar blog, I made the realization that my future self is non-existant. My future self is not good at giving speeches or skilled at quickly adapting to circumstances. I must work with who I am right now, because that is all I have. God definitely is going to help me with change this semester, as so much change in social and academic circumstances continue to present themselves to me. And I’m okay with them. It reminds me even more that I can trust in God to be a strong foundation for me, a solid rock that is unshakeable. I only operate under the illusion that the things in life that I take for granted will be there forever. It is when this illusion is shattered that I can better trust in Christ and experience tremendous growth.
You know, feelings aren’t everything. In fact, in many circumstances they can hinder us instead of help us. Maybe I might never “like” change, but I resolve to get to the point where I will change without a fight.
And as a continuation of my “Precarious Balance” post, I will most likely only be blogging about once a week because of my newly hectic schedule. Because, unlike a majority of my fellow college students, I require sleep to function.