Change is happening everywhere, bidden and unbidden. Just as the trees and shrubs are showing buds here, just as babies are growing and learning to walk and talk, just as spring follows winter, so change is part of life. Birth, death, regrowth, new life, all part of the cycle. We lament and decry destruction and violence, rejoice in the creation of new life, new paths, new ways of living.
Upheaval is not easy, whether it accompanies planned or unplanned change. Studies show that moving is as stressful as divorce. I remember when the kids were little and we moms would discuss our parental frustrations inherent in coping with what were actually good things - children learning to walk (and to wreak more havoc in less time), climbing out of bed and high chair, asserting independence. Now we discuss adolescents, teens, empty nests, and turn attention to caring for elderly parents. We have to constantly readjust to changing environment. This takes a lot of energy, to receive all sorts of information (personal and public), sort and process it, give it time to settle into shape or settle into the rest of the tapestry of our lives.
From my own childhood I remember occasions of asking to do this or to do that and receiving an answer of "no" from a harried parent. I remember finally asking/complaining, "Then, what CAN I do?" I remember my own children asking me the same thing when I was too busy with other things to cope with adding another item to the schedule - a trip to the store or park, a play date, another activity on top of everything else that I was trying to balance and juggle and manage and master. It was often a matter of available energy, physical and emotional.
So I find myself these days, as I try to stay current with the rapidly changing landscapes in so many areas of my life and all over the world, thinking about how much energy it takes to keep up with everything. And figuring that others feel the same way. And wanting us all to be gentle with ourselves and with each other along the way and allow ourselves the rest and rejuvenation we need when our batteries run down.
My prayer for today is that we all can recognize that we have temporary limits to our ability to absorb and stay on top of things during times of change (and especially times of upheaval). I send out my prayers on behalf of all who are coping with death and destruction, for those who are working for democracy and human rights, for those who are afraid, for those who are elated. And I send out my prayers for those of us who are watching, caring about our world, caring about our families, and also trying to stay afloat in the midst of our own places and processes of growth and change.
God is with us in our joy and in our sorrow, on the journey and at all the rest stops along the way. Rest assured that God is our final destination.