Change – Hope or Despair

I’ve always loved the fall season. Football, cooler weather, the leaves changing and the smell. Growing up for me it was the smells that truly signified that fall had officially started. Where I grew up we had mint farms, and in the fall they would start to burn the mint and smell of mint would fill the valley. The smell would usher in the season’s change.
For most people change, although wanted, is difficult. For the last seven (7) years I’ve worked as a change manager. I’ve spent time with acquisitions trying to assimilate them into our company. I’ve worked with people switching from very outdated software and moving them to the newest technology. It was a very difficult but rewarding time. I’ve also been blessed to work with a number of churches as they’ve tried to be more relevant in their community and impact the world for Christ. In each and every situation I’ve seen one of two responses: Hope or Despair. Those that had Hope may not have always enjoyed every step but they believed the outcome would be positive. On the other side, those that had Despair, even if they may have enjoyed a specific change didn’t believe that the end would be positive.
Whenever I think about change I go back to the Israelites coming out of Egypt. Here you have a million people that went through some of the biggest change anyone could ever face. They lost their homes, their jobs, their leadership; their very environment changed. One day they are making bricks, and the next day they are professional movers. If you read the story, you’ll see that they had two responses; some had Hope and some had Despair.
I also think about the 12 spies that went into the Promise Land. They were faced with checking things out. All 12 saw the same thing but 1 came away in Despair and two came away with Hope.
How do you face change in your own life? Do you face it with Hope or Despair? If you believe that God is in control of your life, that He has a plan for you, then shouldn’t we face Chang with Hope? Hope for the coming harvest? Join me in this season of change by having a spirit of Hope; knowing that God is in control and great things are coming.   ~Pastor James