Change in inevitable in life. Our status changes from single to married; our kids change from babies to toddlers to teens to adults; we change jobs, houses, cars, and pets. Some changes are good and some are not. And different people react differently to changes in their lives. Some people embrace every change, ready for each new day. Others cling to what was with all their strength.
Spencer Johnson wrote a little book about change called “Who Moved My Cheese?” The core of the book is the story of two mice – named Sniff and Scurry – and two little people – named Hem and Haw – who live together in a maze. Each day the four come to a place called Cheese Station C, until one day there is no cheese left. So Sniff and Scurry run off into the maze to another cheese station. They have been noticing for some time that the cheese was diminishing at Cheese Station C and were prepared for change.
Hem and Haw, on the other hand, keep coming back to Cheese Station C for several days, hoping that the cheese will come back. They don’t like the change and so cling to the notion that it has not really happened. Eventually, Haw ventures out and finds more cheese at Cheese Station L. We never learn if Hem leaves Cheese Station C or simply refuses to accept change and stays there. Some of the lessons of this little fable are: Change happens; Anticipate change; Monitor change; Adapt to change quickly; and Learn to enjoy change.
It seems that a lot of things are changing in my life lately. Changes at church have been difficult, but I believe will be a good thing in the long run. Most recently is the time change, which I have to adjust to tomorrow. My reaction to these changes has been much like Sniff and Scurry – I saw them coming and was ready to move on.
Changes at work seen to never end, but there is a big one in the works right now that I didn’t see coming. Part of me wants to be like Hem (or at least Haw) and stick with what we have been doing. But the change is going to happen. Now I need to adapt and convince those around me to do so as well. Perhaps there will be better “cheese” where we are going.
But I am thankful that through it all there is one constant – God. Malachi 3:6a say, “I the LORD do not change.” The author of Hebrews wrote, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8. God “will never leave you nor forsake you.” Joshua 1:5. God’s grace and mercy through Jesus Christ are unchanging. No one can snatch us from the hand of our savior. John 10:28.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39.
Changes in life are inevitable, but we choose our reaction to the changes around us. As things change, we must each decide whether to respond like Sniff, Scurry, Haw, or Hem. We must each decide whether and how we will adapt to the changes that have already taken place and those that are still to come. Spencer Johnson has provided some sound advice in dealing with change. But God has provided the lifeline and constant that will truly see us through.