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I have now been at Camillus First for two months. I was recently thinking about change.  As I have gotten more comfortable in my role as a Pastor, it is hard to believe that I was not even considering pastoring as an option in the near future just six months ago. Going from being a landscaper full time to now pastoring half-time and landscaping half-time is a significant change. This change was drastic, and my wife and I are still coming to terms with this change that God has had a direct hand in bringing. Camillus First congregation has seen much change in the last eight months. Retirement of a long-term pastor, supply pastors, a new pastor all while navigating a global pandemic. That change is unsettling and scary because there can be uncertainty in those shifts.

Change is inevitable. As time goes on, we get older, and our strengths and weaknesses evolve with that passage of time. I have heard it said that the one thing you can rely on being the same and constant is a continual change in all aspects of life.  What do we do with change? How do we meet change? Many of us fight change; we push back and use an excessive amount of energy trying to stave off and hold at bay the evolution of life. This resistance is human nature because change shows us how much control we do not have in our lives. We want to control, but sometimes the best way to be in charge is to accept and work with the changes happening around us.

As Christians, when shifts in our lives seem to be more than we can handle, we lash out and try to grasp at any semblance of control. Instead, we should be leaning on Jesus Christ for truth, grace, understanding, and wisdom. Is there a thing as bad change? I feel it is about perspective, as change can initially have an adverse effect on our lives. We can often look at situations retrospectively and see that they led to some pretty positive events in our lives.

Natural change, the change from God, is good because God is good all the time. So why do we constantly push back against God? The simplest answer is that we are afraid. In that fear, we forget to lean on our faith in Christ, God. I have learned that no amount of fighting will stop change if it is going to happen.

I will leave you with a passage from the Letter of Paul to the Romans for reflection.

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Are we conforming, are we stuck in our life’s routines or ruts.  Or are we opening our minds to the possibilities of God that are all around us?  Are we trying new things or being naysayers?  Change is inevitable. Let us all do something positive with that change.  I hope you all have a blessed and fruitful end to your summer.