When I was in High School I worked at Kresge’s a small downtown five and dime. Kresge Corporation changed it’s name to K-Mart and soon they had a new store in town and our little downtown store was closing. I was one of the last employees of the store after they closed to the public. I along with a few others transferred to the new K-Mart store which had been open for about a year. So when I arrived as a K-Mart corporation employee for more then 3 years I had “seniority” so I got to name my job. When I came to K-mart there were people working under me who had been in the store since it opened. Some of them were very confused how I could be over them, paid more and seemed to have no clue what I was doing. You see there was a vast difference between how they did things at Kresge’s and how they did things at K-Mart. But I learned to adjust to the change.
Later in my life after two and a half years at Concordia College in Ann Arbor Michigan I transferred to Concordia College in Wisconsin. The two schools were both Concordia’s but they were very different. It took me several months to get used to the new campus and how they did things at this new Concordia. But I learned to adjust to the change.
My first call into the full time ministry was at the Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer in South Bend Indiana. I moved there in June and began my ministry to youth and families as a “single guy.” In August of that same year I got married. I don’t think I have time to tell you about all the changes that took place then, at least not before my laptop battery dies. But I learned to adjust to the change.
Life is after all a long series of changes, many – many changes. I am now at one of those great change points of my life. After more than 13 years of ministry at Trinity Lutheran Church in Waconia, Minnesota I am preparing for a new ministry at Cross View Lutheran Church in Edina Minnesota. For those of you not familiar with Minnesota geography let me just say that Edina is on the inner west ring of Minneapolis and Waconia is on the outer west ring of Minneapolis. My commute which had been 5 minutes (in traffic) will now be 25 minutes, 30 minutes in traffic. Now I know that by commuting standards that is still a short commute but for me it is 5 to 6 times longer! This will be a change I think I will get used to quickly.
The big change is the people. After 13 years investing in the lives of people who have become more than “congregation” and even more than “friends” they have become “family.” This will be a big change. When you get accustomed to seeing your family every week or two, seeing them far less frequently will be hard. But then there is that new family the expanded family of Christ that is waiting just 25 minutes down the road.
They say that job change is one of the top ten stresses of life. But this change is different for in the middle of this change is a great sameness. For in the center of this change is Christ. Jesus Christ the Changeless one!
Hebrews 13:8 (NIV)
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
There is something very exciting in change, unless you are talking about diapers, and that is a whole different kind of excitement. There is also something comfortable in sameness. That is the beautiful mix I find myself in the excitement of change and the comfort of sameness. All of this made possible only because of a great God. For I have been called – twice – once to be a child of the King and a member of His family and a second time to be a servant to a small group of His family, the people of Cross View. What A gift I have been given!
James 1:17 (NIV)
17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
Life is too short to waste our time on ponders that don’t matter – let’s take some time to ponder the eternal with a GodPonder!