“There are times when the actual experience of leaving something makes you wish desperately that you could stay, and then there are times when the leaving reminds you a hundred times over why exactly why you had to leave in the first place, and this was one of those.”— Shauna Niequist
This is not how I imagined things would be.
The past couple years surfaced more uncertainties than I had expected at this point in my life.
Careers were supposed to have linear trajectory, right? After education, checking the academic boxes and picking up the right degrees, we’d know what work to devote ourselves to for the next 40 years. Spiritual growth is merely a matter of attending church events, Bible studies, and “doing life in community” that your pastor recommends. And friendships were supposed to travel in straight lines, up and to the right.
One thing I’m finding is that, while we once felt comfortable and certain and safe within a stage of life, there comes a time when that structure will no longer hold the growing pressure. The things we took for granted—foundational beliefs, personal convictions, some relationships—don’t stay neat and tidy in their categories. The world is not fixed or static, but alive and dynamic.
The question is whether we’ll change, too.
My friends Ricky and Krista wrote, “The difference between desiring change and experiencing change is usually your determination to persevere through change.”
Are you willing to change—in your ideas, commitments, relationships, and perspective?
Embracing change is dangerous. You leave behind the world you know for the unknown expanse before you. (click to tweet)
I admit, this may be overly dramatic. I could be wrong—but this theme of a change of perspective has popped into more conversations and relationships and reading than I can keep track of. [Will have to write more on that soon.] The more people I talk with, the more I find on some sort of journey into the unknown, whatever that may be for them.
We could all use a change of scenery every once in a while.
A Change of Spiritual Scenery
Mulling over these thoughts and wondering what’s next for myself, I wrote about a recent experience that forced me to consider my own attitude and willingness to see things in new light.
I love Fathom Mag‘s invitation to be deeply curious, so I’m honored to join the thoughtful voices they’ve curated in their latest release, Issue 9: Returning Home.
You can start reading it here:
The priest stood up during the Easter homily and said, “God invites you to a change of perspective.”
When he said it, I looked up at the screen where the priest stood, broadcast from inside the cathedral we faced. We were in Charleston for the weekend, attending an historic Episcopal church on Easter Sunday—the first Easter in my life without a church home.
Overflow seating spread to the courtyard with a belltower and landscaped flowerbeds. My wife and I found chairs on the end of a row, trying to remain inconspicuous—something we had grown accustomed to over several different Sundays as we visited different churches around our city. Sitting in this courtyard forced me to contemplate why we were there in the first place.
My wife and I had grown weary of soundbite answers and narrow reasons offered by evangelical churches, while our friends wrestled with questions and doubts that their childhood faith traditions had failed to prepare them for. With complex emotions and a series of stinging letdowns, we needed a change…
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