Ok, so I haven’t posted in awhile because I have been doing a lot of traveling over the past few weeks. My most recent trip was to southern Virginia. Those of you who know me personally probably just laughed out loud. Norell? Virginia? Ha! I know. Well, my dad recently accepted a position pastoring there and I made the trip for his first Sabbath at the new church.
I’ve been faced with the fact that visiting my parents now means going “down south”. I grew up in Connecticut so yes, I have preconceived notions about the south and quite frankly, I had mixed feelings about the whole thing- I still do. I’m working on it. Anyway, I caught myself wishing I could go back to when my family living in the northeast was a certainty. Then I had to check myself.
Why are we so obsessed about going back? How many times have we heard people talk about the “good old days”? This nostalgia for the past dominates our political, social, and even religious environments. In politics we hear, “Make America Great Again” (whatever that means). At work I see architects who refuse to learn to draft on the computer and instead use parallel bars, triangles, and t-squares. In church, we sing songs that literally say, “Take me back!”
However, we pick and choose what we want back. Nobody says take me back to the days of dial up internet.
We spend a lot of time asking why stuff has changed. At work, we (or our coworkers) ask, “What’s wrong with the old way?” In church the saints ask, “Why change what’s not broken?” Or they misinterpret a Bible verse and flat out say, “God doesn’t change so we don’t need to change either.”
Interesting. Does that mean you would run Windows XP on your brand new laptop. I mean you can (good luck trying to even find it), but would it be able to handle the tasks you expect it to do? Why would you fight with a 15 year old operating system when you can have so much better?
Upgrading to a new system exposes you to better experiences, provides new features, allows greater flexibility, and eliminates previous frustrations. Similar things happen when you begin to embrace change. It triggers progress, new opportunities, flexibility, and personal growth.
Just like you regularly update your apps and your phone, wouldn’t it make sense to do it in other areas of your life? I’m talking to myself too because there are areas in my life where I consistently resist change. Here’s the thing though, just like nobody could’ve imagined the iPhone 7 in 2004, we have no idea what positive changes lie ahead of us. However, in order to get there, we have to be willing to change. Change is hard- I never said it was easy- but we should at the very least be open to it.
The technology of the early 00s can’t accomplish the tasks of today. The worship service style of the 1900s will seem outdated and boring to people living in 2017. And this is not a bad thing- society has changed. Depending on and glorifying yesterday’s experiences will not create a better future. In fact, that only delays progress and we end up behind instead of leading the innovation. Nobody wants to be left trailing behind everyone else.
So think about that the next time you are ready to argue with somebody who is ready for change. Me? I’m gonna stop wishing I could go back in time and embrace this move down south. Let me hurry up and head back to Connecticut to finish packing up my childhood effects before my parents throw my stuff away.