Sunday, September 19, 2010

Change is Bad. Or At Least Difficult

In the year 1985, the prophet Joni Mitchell brought us a word from the Lord:

Sometimes change comes at you
like a broadside accident
There is chaos to the order
Random things you can't prevent

This is 2010 for me. It started with my friend's recurrence of cancer and her eventual death and will end with the day job I've had for 7 years ending. Some other, more personal things, which I won't discuss publicly, happened in between that have made me less than happy, maybe even a little depressed.

It's just been a bit of a crappy year.

Except I believe in redemption.

Change is very hard, adds unreasonable stress, creates grief. Especially the unplanned kind, like the death and job things. I mean, I have some changes in mind that I want to make in the next year or so, but on my timetable, please. Well, maybe all these other crappy changes will speed up those wanted changes. Or delay them. Hard to say. I keep saying security is a false idol, so I guess this is the proof and I get to figure out where my God really is in all this.

And God is in the redemption.

In the middle of the awful, hard, grieving things of this year, I've also had some wonderful things happen. For example, I've expanded my freelancing into places that I'm very excited about. Those are opening other doors to more work. I'm also finding people to help me with a performance piece that has been percolating for some time (see my other blog, neoNuma Arts, where I'm relating some rather euphoric forward movement). And even if God isn't in these things, God peeks out at me around corners, whispers from dark corners, gives small signs and wonders. I have to remember to remain thankful, rejoice in all things.

Funny, isn't it, that I feel the need to relate in my art-creating blog my euphoria and in my God blog my disappointments and grief. Well, both are true. In some manic-depressive way, I'm tired, a little depressed, hurting and I've got some really good things going on that give me hope for months ahead.

After all, the prophet Joni's next two lines in the above referenced song are:

There could be trouble around the corner
There could be beauty down the street

Security is an idol. Trouble and beauty, God comes along for the ride.

On my best days, I hope God is the driver.

(Joni Mitchell lyrics from "Good Friends" on her album Dog Eat Dog.)


  1. "Security is an idol." I like that, because I believe it's true.

    Someone on another blog I read posited the following question: "Which is the greatest sin? Not honoring your father and mother, not making God first in your life, or murder?" I answered that I believe that idolatry (in any form -- any action that leaves God out of the picture and out of touch with our lives) is the thing that makes God the saddest about humanity. This sin (this missing of the mark) is very difficult to avoid, however, and we must be on constant guard about our propensity to make other things the focus of our lives, to make other things the means to our salvation.

    You, Neil, have nailed this on the head today, and I thank you for the reminder.

    (Btw, the pastor who posited the sin question answered my post to say that Luther would agree with me! That was a nice affirmation...)

    Laura B

  2. I posted as Anonymous because I couldn't figure out how to do otherwise at the moment. So, for you, Neil, I created yet another internet account, and here I am!