Changing Seasons

September 22, 2009  |     |   General

Fall is hands-down my favorite time of year. I have two beautiful pictures of autumn scenery hanging in my office, and I never grow tired of looking at them. One has these words: “Change is not only inevitable, it is essential to survival. Why fear it or fight it when you can simply embrace it?” This picture is a dazzling display of fall colors at their best, and the trees are vibrant with a glorious range of hues.

The next few weeks will offer a glimpse into the marvelous artistic skills of our Wonderful Creator, but the season doesn’t wait around very long. If you don’t get out there and pay attention, you will miss it altogether and have to wait an entire year for another opportunity.

The English word, “opportunity” has a very interesting origin. The word comes from the Latin, “opportuna”, which was used to describe specific water levels and tides when it was best for a ship to leave port and head out to open water. For the ship captains, there was a brief “window of opportunity” for which they had to be prepared or else wait until the next day.

The wise sailor did not wait to prepare until “opportuna” arrived. He knew that he had to be ready to go before the moment of departure, or miss it altogether.

I find that I sometimes resist change because, for whatever reason, I was not prepared. I have a hard time viewing unanticipated change as an unexpected opportunity. I only embrace change when I have a say in it and am convinced that it is for the better. Like everyone I know, I like being in control even if the sense of control is not based in reality.

The truth, of course, is that only God is ultimately in control, and He doesn’t find it necessary to confer with me before He implements it. Could it be that He already knows what needs to change even without my input or well-reasoned recommendations?

My wall hanging asks, “Why fear it or fight it when you can simply embrace it?” The oft-recited Serenity prayer is both wise and eloquent: “Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” While I might resist change, I also detest the boredom that comes from the same old thing over and over.

My mother always told me that, of her four kids, I was her ‘difficult child’. Some things never change…. If you stop by my office at Open Door Mission, I will be happy to show you my fall pictures. Better yet, I urge you to take advantage of the wonderful fall scenery that is about to unfold around us!

Dick Arant
Program Case Manager