Ready, Set, Change
Good afternoon from Managua, Nicaragua!
Today I am writing in the afternoon, which is a change from my normal schedule. Over my time in Nicaragua, change and transition is something I have learned a lot about. As a Type A person, it has not always been an easy thing. It is, however, a part of my daily life now. Whether it is something big such as transitioning to a new staff person or something small such as a last minute schedule change, I get plenty of opportunities to practice being flexible and dealing with change. While this has been uncomfortable at times, it has been a great chance to grow.
As I consider what I have learned from these experiences, the biggest lesson that stands out in my head is the need to not hold onto things too tightly. In other words, I have to being willing to let go of my plans when the inevitable moment of change arrives. This is not to say the overall goal necessarily changes, but rather that the road to get there takes some unforeseen turns. In typing this I feel like a little bit of a fraud as I am not very good at it. Normally, this is where the writer would offer a three step plan to implementing this thought process in your life. Unfortunately, I do not have one to share. I am most certainly still a work in progress when it comes to being willing to let go of my plans when a necessary detour arises.
With that said, I have learned that making this a reality in my life is more about a lifestyle change than a decision in the moment of change. In Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi he wrote, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV) It is here that I need to live if I am going to be ready to turn left when I was planning to turn right. Instead of holding my plans tightly, I need to find the peace that comes from giving them to God and trusting him with the outcome. In the few times I have lived this way in Nicaragua, I have found God to be faithful and my life to be more joyful. With opportunities to practice on a daily basis, I hope to get a little closer every day to “living there” instead of “visiting occasionally”. I hope the same for you.
– James Belt