Changing to stay the same

This week I have been working through author Thomas Friedman’s book, “Thank You for Being Late.”  The subtitle is both insightful and beautiful “An optimists guide to thrilling in the age of accelerations.”  What he means by this is that we are at the first moment in history when the pace of change in the world is so fast humans can no longer keep up.  Technology is changing so quickly that once we get the hang of one piece of technology, we are already 2, 3, even 10 versions past it.  So in a world that moves really quickly, what does it look like to thrive?

What struck me reading this chapter after chapter is that there is no option to stay the same.  I mean there is, but let’s say really clearly what “staying the same is.”  Many people naturally say they fight change.  Change is scary, it points us to the unknown, it could mean different things, and the list goes on.  But what is clear in Friedman’s book is that the world around us is changing quickly period.  So any desire to be the same is in fact a change, and a hard one at that.

What this made me wonder is, what meaning do we all make when we make a choice about how we will handle change?  What is the person thinking who is camps out for the newest iPhone, and I wonder just as deeply about th person who refuses to get a cell phone at all.  I cringe at moment where I am way too attached to my phone, and always wonder why others hesitate to use technology to stay connected and make parts of life easier (GPS for example).

What I keep being reminded of as I read this is that change is.  It is not good or bad, it just is.  Change is one of if not the most constant reality we each face.  I cannot get younger, no matter how hard I try, but trust me, when I wake up tomorrow I will be older.  With that in mind I  have been wondering what it looks like (and I hope Friedman shares his insights) of what it looks like to be filled with great joy, excitement, and love as I live in a world that is changing faster than my mind could even imagine.  What it looks like to realize that change is not always easy, and change can bring great opportunity.

I wonder how you approach change in your world?  I wonder if change is a dirty word for you, or if it stirs up excitement and wonder?  And I wonder in light of all that, how this shows up as you relate to your family, to church, to God?