It’s said that the only constant in life is change. Being caught up in the middle of our day to day grind, it’s easy to see life as something more static. I sometimes go a while, feeling like I’m in a rut. Then, in a moment of clarity, the rush of newness takes my breath. Things are in motion around us all the time, we just don’t always take the time to see them. I notice in my own life, I depend heavily on these moments as barometers of change. I sometimes claim to be further along a path or assume that past hurts no longer press upon me. But it’s when presented with a proper opportunity to gauge my heart’s condition that I’m able to see where I really am. Sometimes the results are surprising. I recently have had a couple opportunities to view things in a new light. Neither of these times were of especially significant but used properly I was able to gain insight.
This past Sunday, I made the trek to Indy to take in the Pacers Fan Jam. It’s an event the Pacers put on right before the season starts in order to get fans fired up for the team. The players head to the court to engage the fans with shooting competitions, talent shows, and skill games before finally ending the event with an autograph session. This was my second year attending, so I knew what I was attending. Seeing fan favorites compete against each other in tricycle races and dance competitions is good for laughs and is a pretty fun time. As the crowd began to file out towards the areas of the fieldhouse where their favorite players were seated and ready to sign autographs, I headed back to my car in thought. Last year, I was more than excited to try and get the little roster sheet handed out at the beginning of the event filled with signatures. The thought didn’t even cross my mind this year and it struck me how my priorities aren’t very similar to a year ago. A year ago, I was so consumed with temporary fulfillment by things that have little true value. Today, I’m much more concerned with edifying relationships. Now, I’m far from saying that I only live my life in service and love for others. I still spend too much time indulging myself on silly habits. But in the moment, I was able to see how little things that once mattered to me have a hold on me.
The Sunday before that, just before service, my pastor’s wife greeted me in passing and then turned back to me with the words, “You’re a changed man.” Those words stuck with me. 2013 has been a pretty tough year for me and in the midst of trouble, too often I’ve tried to clamp down tightly on things I couldn’t begin to control. I wanted so badly to stop a tailspin of emotion and I let my troubles affect my mood. Slowly, I’ve taken my hands off of things I wouldn’t be any good at ruling even if I could and put faith in Jesus. I feel like the only two things we consistently control in our lives is attitude and effort. I focused more on being the right person with what I was given. I tried to be the friend that my friends needed. And in encouraging others, the weight on my own shoulders had lightened considerably. I was too busy for too long to even see what God had done in my life. And with those words, I was able to see the truth in the change that had been happening for some time. I think it’s funny how often I can complain about the status quo, when that never means the same thing.