Every Few Years… Everything Changes
As I sit here in my office, on the 3rd of a new year – a new decade, I’m reminded of one simple truth I learned long ago. Every few years… everything changes. It’s true… an absolute fact. Unchangeable. Unstoppable. No matter your age, plans, or intentions… plan on everything changing. It’s going to happen.
Life doesn’t stop. It keeps on going. One old rock song says we need to “Roll with the Changes”. But that’s not easy when you’ve spent that last 25+ years pouring yourself into the lives of your children; caring for them as infants, steering them as toddlers, teaching them as youngsters, battling them as teenagers… and then “poof”… they’re in college and gone. And then after 25-years, you recognize that you’re different too. You’ve watched, steered, and guided the changes of your children, only to find out you’ve also changed. You’re not who you once were either… and there’s no going back.
This is the way God designed it when He created time and aging. Nothing ever stays the same. Everything changes. So how do we roll with the changes? What His purpose in all this? What do we teach our kids as they approach leaving the nest? Here are 3-simple things that will help us (and them!) to navigate the changes.
Stick with God – stick with Jesus. Keep going to church. 70% of all high school students stop going to church in their late teens. Only 60% of those who left will come back. Many adults only attend 2-3 Sundays per month, and only Sunday AM. Yet a true follower of Jesus Christ doesn’t look to get away from God or His church – at 18-yrs old or at 50-yrs old.
Ps 16:7-8 (Message) – The wise counsel God gives when I’m awake is confirmed by my sleeping heart. Day and night I’ll stick with God; I’ve got a good thing going and I’m not letting go.
If you’ve had a real encounter with Lord, and it resulted in your true salvation, then there is no legitimate reason you can give for not going to church. The only person you’re harming is yourself – as in the most important part of your self – your spiritual life. A true Christian says, “I’ll stick with God. I’ve got a good thing going and I’m not letting go.”
Remain true to God – this is close the first. What does it mean to remain true to Him? It means that He is your priority. You intend to follow Him – to be a student of His – by reading, studying, listening to and obeying His commands. It means praying to Him because He’s real and He really is active in your life in ways beyond your imagination. God actively watches over us. He provides for and sustains us. We’re only alive because He wants us to be. He deeply loves you and absolutely wants the best for you. When we truly understand and experience that the only powerful, wonderful, and truly loving God is pursuing and fighting for you – then your desire is to remain true to Him.
Follow Jesus – let Him guide you through the changes. He cares deeply for you. You’re important to Him. He loves you. He died for you so that you could be reconciled to the Father (2 Cor 5:18), adopted as His child (Eph 1:5), and experience tremendous joy (it’s all about the joy!). You’re a child of God and can trust that He has a wonderful future planned for you – even after your kids leave home. He has a plan for your entire life.
You don’t have to fear the changes. You don’t have to go it alone. There is a future and there is hope. You just need to stay engaged, seek the Father’s will, and allow the Holy Spirit – who is the Spirit of Christ – lead and guide you through. And you need to be patient – because every few years, everything changes. You get a chance to start afresh and new.