This summer I spent some time in Red Wing, Minnesota, and stayed at my grandmother’s cabin. It’s a beautiful, peaceful place; the backyard overlooks the Mississippi river. One morning I got up to go for a jog. I ran to the end of the street, where as a child I remember hiking to an old cabin in the woods.
This cabin was really cool. At the end of the street, you had to hike down a path in the woods, cross a few rickety bridges, and then hike up some old stairs to get to the cabin. There was even this little basket on a rope that you could send supplies over to the cabin. As a kid, it was an adventure to go over there. I remember my uncle would hide under the bridge and pretend to be a troll to try and scare me and my cousins. It was a sweet memory from my childhood.
As I got to the end of the road, I noticed something had changed. First of all, the road didn’t dead end like it used to. Instead, there was a large bridge leading to a big house that I didn’t remember being there before. One of the neighbors was out watering her flowers, and I asked her about the old cabin.
They tore it down. Gone was the cabin, gone was the path through the woods, and gone was the little basket for supplies. All that remained were my memories of it.
I felt sad and angry about the change. I was looking forward to hiking through the woods and peering into the windows of the old cabin, like I did when I was a child. I was looking forward to experiencing the memories and the nostalgia again. But what I got instead was a big house and new bridge. I didn’t have a connection with these things at all.
This experience is a lot like my life. I don’t like change. I resist change, but change is part of my life everyday. My situation changes, the people I’m in relationship with change, and I change as well. It has been said, “The one constant in this world is change,” and I think that is true.
Because change is our reality, it doesn’t do a whole lot of good to get angry about change and resist it. It didn’t help my day to get mad about the fact that the cabin was torn down. Instead, a better strategy is to roll with the change and be curious about how I would like to live in light of the change. For example, instead of getting sad and angry that the cabin was torn down, I could be thankful for the memories that I did have, or turn my attention to how I was feeling on my run. Or write a blog post 🙂
Discussion: How do you react when change occurs? What is one step you could take toward embracing change when it happens in your life?