By Vinita, based on Here’s My Heart, Here’s My Hand: Living Fully in Friendship with God.
“I believe that the changes we have experienced in our lifetime have at least mildly traumatized most of us. We may not be fully aware of the trauma, but it is there” (p. 113)
Father Bill Barry tells us that when times change and old ways of doing things are no longer effective, we can go to two extremes. We can cling to the old and live in a state of nostalgia, which may comfort us to some extent but won’t help us move forward. Or we can see in the past only what was bad and hurtful, and thus become bitter. This way of dealing with change is just as paralyzing.
We may be dealing with changes in the world: wars and natural disasters, the daily revisions in communication technology, the weakening of traditional religion’s influence in the culture. We may be dealing with changes in the Christian community: arguments and schisms, crises in leadership, the current theological debate. Or we may be dealing with personal upheaval: death in the family, divorce, financial reversal, unwanted relocation, change of career, long-term illness. Probably, if we’re awake and honest about life, we’re trying to grapple with changes in all these categories. It can feel overwhelming. It can threaten our faith, hope, and love.
“We are a people who believe that this world, because if its physical, biological, social, and spiritual ties with Jesus of Nazareth, is divinized, is inextricably united with the triune God. When cataclysmic changes occur in the world order, we must still believe that God’s Spirit is with us, as Jesus promised: “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth (John 16:13). So when the old ways are dead, it means that a new way is upon us, even though we cannot discern it yet. This new way, however, will be consistent with what God has already accomplished through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and the sending of the Spirit” (pp. 114–115).
So how do we walk into tomorrow, a day that will likely throw more change in our path? We walk with a prayer. As we walk, we say to God of the universe: “Lord, you kept telling the disciples to have faith, to not be afraid. I’ll take those words seriously, but you have to take care of the rest.”
A Spiritual Adventure for the Week
Every day, come to prayer with a specific change that is worrisome for you. Place it before God. You can do this mentally; you can describe the change in writing and then burn the paper; you can choose a small object to represent the change and place it as an offering in a bowl and leave it there. But try to consciously trust God this week with some of the changes you face.