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Viewpoint from Rev Leda Schofield 01/04/2016 

Dove rightRev Leda Schofield
Minister at Park Baptist Church
Portuguese Congregation

  

Change

 
Most people that I speak to tell me that they don’t like change. The thought of change can make us sad, anxious, and fearful.  We like our routine and change can mess it up. Sometimes change makes us feel that we are no longer in control of our lives.  However, change is not necessarily a bad thing. Think of some of the changes that have taken place during the last 100 years. This period has seen the arrival of television, computers, the internet and mobile phones.  Great advances have been made in medicine, including heart and cancer treatment. Such changes have brought enormous benefits
 
Perhaps one of the major problems with change is that to embrace change in our lives often requires that we give up things that are important to us. In the Bible, Ruth had to leave her native country and people behind in order to become part of a new family. The disciples had to give up professions such as fishing in order to follow Christ. Christ Himself had to give up his very life when, in order to do the will of the Father, he went to the cross. So change can be costly, but it is a necessary part of life
 
dove leftChange brings us challenges and opportunities. The challenge is to let go. Letting go is a major theme of the Gospel. God may be asking us to let go of what is familiar to do a new thing in our lives. Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it” (Mark 8:34-35). The opportunity is to step out in faith. We have plenty of examples in the Bible of people who stepped out in faith, beginning with Abraham’s obedience to move from his home to a land he did not know. Author Rick Warren says that faith is the experience of having to let go of the first trapeze bar before being able to grab hold of the next bar!
 
One of the things we can do to help us face change confidently, is to embrace it. H. Jackson Brown in Life’s Little Instruction Book writes: "You pay a price for getting stronger, You pay a price for getting faster, You pay a price for jumping higher, but you also pay a price for just staying the same”
 
Talking of change, a major change is about to happen in my life. After serving at Park Baptist Church in Great Yarmouth for seven years, I understand that God is calling me to move on. This coming September I’ll be saying good bye to my congregation. So, the thoughts I have shared above will come in handy to me, and I had better practice what I preach