What is it about life that frightens people? Why do we find it so hard to do something different, or change our perspective, or let go of something we’ve been holding on to for years? What IS it??
I guess what brought these questions on was the thought of death. I was pondering the subject of death earlier today, and I realized: the hardest thing about death is, it represents change. Think about it: yes, we’re sad that the person who died is no longer with us, but most of our sadness is for ourselves. We’ve lost a presence that was a precious part of our lives. We’re being forced to pick up and move on with the rest of the world, even though we’re in agony. And more than anything, we want things to go back to the way they used to be, before things changed.
Change. I think that is what frightens human beings, more than anything else. Change is a threat to the normalcy and the seemingly unshakeable patterns we’ve created in our daily lives. But it’s more than just change that we fear. It’s the thought that something could be different. It’s the unknown.
With this new philosophy in mind, I can explain my reactions to different incidents that have happened throughout my life. Most recently, there was my trip to Mexico to visit my co-blogger, Rebekah, and her family. It was the first time that I had taken a vacation of some length (ten days) to a place far from any of my family members. I was fairly confident that I would do well without the people I was most familiar with at my side, where I had been accustomed to having them up to now. Therefore, it was a bit of an uncomfortable surprise when I arrived at my friend’s house, where I burst into tears and suddenly found myself wanting to run back to my family in the States and turn my ten-day trip into a five-day trip.
What happened to my fortitude, my self-assurance about this trip? Well, let’s apply the fear of change to my situation: I was in a foreign country, without any of the people that I had been around every day of my life near me. There were a lot of new things happening to me that I wasn’t exactly prepared to deal with. Fortunately, I stuck it out and stayed the whole ten days, and I had a really good time. But the trip was still a bit tainted by that explosion of emotion upon realizing how different this adventure was from any I had ever had before.
Do you see what I mean? Doesn’t the fear of change and things being different explain SO much about ourselves? Now, I believe that there are different kinds of changes, and that they vary in their degrees of terror and discomfort according to the person experiencing them. For example, Rebekah is now in Israel for a ten-month stay; the only person around that she is really familiar with is her sister. Ten months is a lot longer than ten days, and yet… I think she is handling her trip better than I did mine. But, that just goes to show you how everyone’s perspective on change is different. What I might have found to be traumatic, she finds fresh and exciting.
But, there are also some changes that no one deals with very easily, like death and tragedy. And in a world in which we never know what kind of changes we will face and what new things are coming up to meet us each and every day…how are we to deal with it all? For there will always be change. As Shmi Skywalker from Star Wars said, “You can’t stop change any more than you can stop the suns from setting.”
So, again, I ask: how are we to deal with it all?
Well, I don’t know about any of you who are reading this post, but… I believe in a God. And you know what? There are so many different religions in the world, and they are always changing. Judaism, Christianity, Catholicism, you name it, it’s probably different than what it was a hundred years ago, or maybe even ten years ago. But what’s the one thing that has remained the same in all the religions I just listed, and probably in most of the ones I didn’t?
The belief that there is a Creator Who made the world and everything in it.
I hope I don’t come off as being preachy, because I myself don’t like to be preached to. I am simply stating what I believe, and it’s a belief that is very comforting to me. And it just makes sense to me, that the reason why change is so constant in our lives is that it moves us to cling to the One Who never changes. Because that, I believe, is what He wants: for us to be close to Him.
I can’t explain this sort of faith to anyone who doesn’t have it. But if you do believe in God, then you probably get where I’m coming from. Regardless, I hope that this post gives you, the readers, something to think about.
By the way…did you notice how cleverly I worked Star Wars into this post? Like a boss, oh yeaahhhhh…..