Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Change and Struggle

There is no real, substantive change without struggle. Having had to sit through meetings for most of this week as the organization that I work for as they attempt redefine themselves as the enter into the next century it occurs to me that no real change happens without struggle. Struggle is never easy and sometimes does not lead to positive results, but it is inevitable. We all struggle, personally and corporately.

Struggle occurs as we continue to grow and change. Age brings change, and anybody who has gone through adolescence knows that growing older is another level of change. Change of location, vocation or relationship brings struggle. Often this struggle is both inside and outside. Inside your heart and mind strives to make sense of the change. Tears may be shed or joy experience, but in either case it is still a form of struggle. Outside everyone who has any contact with others understands that all relationships bring struggles. A constant renegotiation of the relationship is absolutely necessary. Any two people in relationship have to continue to work on that relationship if it is to last. This too is a form struggle.

Struggles also are part of our spiritual life. Throughout the Bible God’s people have struggled with God. Jacob wrestled with God at Penel, trying to get a hold of what God wanted from him. Paul, according to Acts, kicked against the prodding of his heart until Jesus got his attention on the Damascus road. God is a God of the struggle. God promises never to leave us or forsake us, even amidst of our struggles. That in our most isolated time, God is with us. Thanks be too God.

I am struggling on several different fronts these days. Professionally and personally my struggles have been many. Relocating to a new area, building new relationships, being so far from my loved ones, struggles in a very demanding career, extensive travel and times isolated from others due to that travel have all contributed to that struggle. The only constant is the presence of God in my life, even at times when I don’t feel that presence. I am weary of the struggle. I am ready for a time of stasis. God grant me a time to find an anchor. Until then, thanks be to God I remain:

Lost in Grace,

Marty Cauley, Pastor

Gracious God, I need a time without struggle. A time of respite and stasis. Abide with me as I strive to find peace, your greatest gift. During the season we celebrate your coming, come again and grant peace on earth, and let it begin with me. Amen

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