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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sheryl Crow is Crazy.

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In the span of 28 months I will have graduated Arizona State University, married Taryn, quit a job I enjoyed, moved to Seattle, started graduate school, graduated graduate school, and moved to New York City. While I know there are those who have experienced equal levels of change and/or change filled with greater tragedy than my own, these high levels of change require reflection.

***Note: I apologize for the redundancy of the word “change”. There is no doubt in my mind that you have seen it on a commercial, a bumper sticker, and a t-shirt all before noon. Just bare with me…and know that if you want real change you should vote Shappell in ’08. ***

Why does this change beg for my reflection? Because I live in a culture that resists change. I have been told from my earliest days that change was something to be avoided or at best managed.
In a world of computer operated assembly lines and two term presidents, change looks silly.

That may explain why I often desire stability. I don’t think that this desire is bad. I don’t think its bad to want a safe home for my family, a steady income, or a position that I could occupy for the next ten years. However, my life has not been one of stability. Life has taught me that stability is not natural.

I am 24 years old and I have lived in 19 different homes. For the math majors in the crowd…that is 1.2 houses/year. Change has been a constant in my life. Whether it was change that I chose or change that was “forced” upon me. Change, change, change.

Looking at my story I am forced to ask: what if change was a part of our human condition? What if resistance to change is not biological? What if we are designed to participate in change? What if we have fought change because we fear our own humanity? What if the fear of change is actually a fear of the beauty and creativity that is bouncing around inside our chests?

As I mentioned above there has been a great deal of change in the last 28 months. If I reflect on these changes I can tell you how each decision has brought more life to my life. Each change requiring more of my spirit. More of my humanity. More of me. And what have I found? More.

So perhaps I should flush the dream of stability. Perhaps I should relish in the freedom to create and forfeit my attempts to find a permanent city, job, and lifestyle. Perhaps change is the way of life and stability is a picket fence pipe dream. But I cannot escape me desire for stability.

I know that I have pitted stability against change and have done little to define either term. And I know that this either-or dichotomy is not helpful. And yet this is the tension that I feel. Knowing that change brings life and may in fact be natural to living yet desiring something that I can control. It would seem that the solution is not in either, but a combination of both.

Discovering exactly how to do that remains a problem.

“The old story asserts that resistance to change is a fact of life. Bound by a world view that seeks stability and control, change is always undesirable. But the new story explains resistance not as a fact of life, but as evidence of an act against life. Life is in motion, constantly creating, exploring, discovering. Nothing alive, including us, resists these great creative motions. But all life resists control. All of life reacts to any process that inhibits its freedom to create itself.” - Margaret Wheatley

Look ahead with joy. Anticipate what I’m creating. - Isaiah 65:18

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